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02/06/2003 2:40 pm ET 
Major League Baseball Celebrates Black History Month
Donations to Jackie Robinson Foundation and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum highlight support

In recognition of Black History Month, Major League Baseball is making donations to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, it was announced today.

In conjunction with the contributions, Major League Baseball representatives will attend the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner next month and will be recognized as a "presenting sponsor" at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum's Third Annual Legacy Awards on Friday, February 7. This year's Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner will mark the Foundation's 30th anniversary. Funds raised by the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Dinner will benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation Education & Leadership Development Programs, while contributions to the Negro League Baseball Museum will support the Museum's continued preservation of the rich history of African-American baseball.

"Major League Baseball is committed to honoring the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson and the legacy of the Negro Leagues," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "The contributions made by Jackie Robinson transcend time and sport while the Negro Leagues are a significant facet of baseball history."

Several Clubs will participate in events commemorating Black History Month including fundraisers, blood drives and parades. Additionally, the Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball are supporting legislation sponsored by four U.S. Senators and two Representatives nominating Jackie Robinson for the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his great contributions to civil rights, sports, and the nation. The legislation was announced on Friday, January 31 during a symposium at Fenway Park on what would have been Robinson’s 84th birthday.

In addition, Major League Baseball continues to be an ardent supporter of the Breaking Barriers Program and the Jackie Robinson Scholarship Program. Now in its sixth year, Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life is a multi-curricular character education program, based on the values demonstrated by Jackie Robinson, which uses baseball-themed features, activities and lessons to teach children the morals and traits they need to deal with barriers and challenges in their lives. Jackie's Nine Essay Contest, an national essay competition sponsored by Breaking Barriers, encourages children to express themselves creatively by writing about a barrier or obstacle they have faced or are still facing. Entries for this annual contest will be accepted until February 21.

The Jackie Robinson Scholarship Program provides several support services including, four-year scholarship awards of up to $6,000, personal and career counseling, an annual weekend of interaction with other Jackie Robinson scholars from across the nation and assistance in obtaining summer jobs and permanent employment after graduation.

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