06/20/2005 3:24 PM ET
Baseball Tomorrow Fund recognized for grant to Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs
In support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to increase youth participation in baseball in urban areas throughout the world, in 2003 the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded a grant of $93,580 to the Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs in Syracuse, NY. The grant supported the renovation of a youth baseball field in Skiddy (West End) Park and the purchase of equipment and uniforms for children from the City of Syracuse's community centers.
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund will be recognized for its contribution on Tuesday, June 21 during a field dedication at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) to officially open the new field at Skiddy (West End) Park. Cathy Bradley, Executive Director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, will participate in the festivities. Bradley will be joined by a number of local dignitaries including: Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll - City of Syracuse; Senator John DeFrancisco - (R-NY); and Councilor Marty Masterpole - Second District, Syracuse Common Council.
The Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs grant is the third grant awarded to an upstate New York organization by the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and brings the total amount awarded to youth organizations within the region to more than to $120,000. (A complete list of Upstate New York BTF grants is provided at the end of the release).
The Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs operates eight community centers and 11 youth baseball fields. Upon completion of the Skiddy (West End) Park project, 80 new players from Syracuse community centers will be added to the local leagues in which 600 players already participate.
"Major League Baseball and its players are committed to increasing opportunities for urban youth to experience baseball and softball," said Cathy Bradley, executive director of the Baseball Tomorrow Fund. "The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is proud to help facilitate the growth of the local leagues within the Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Programs."
"It is important that our youth have first class facilities to engage in healthy activities," said Senator DeFrancisco. "I commend Major League Baseball and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund for their commitment to Skiddy Park and our children. As an individual who grew up in Syracuse and took part in recreational and sports activities, I recognize the importance of our neighborhood parks and their programs. That is why I have secured vital funding for Skiddy Park as well as other community parks. They are key when it comes to providing athletic opportunities for our young people. Organized sporting events give them an alternative to the streets and it offers them a chance to participate in constructive activities that help to build character and unity. It is efforts and investments such as this that strengthen and grow our neighborhoods in Central New York."
"The transformation of the Skiddy Park Baseball field would not have been possible without the investments made by Major League Baseball through the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and Senator DeFrancisco," said Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll. "Skiddy Park is important to this community. It is a neighborhood gathering place for family and friends to support our children and their social development through athletic activities and we are committed to creating recreational spaces and parks facilities, like this one, to foster a sense of neighborhood pride and connectivity for all Syracuse residents."
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is designed to promote and enhance the growth of baseball throughout the world by funding programs, field improvements and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain youth participation in baseball and softball. Since its inception in 1999, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded grants totaling more than $8 million benefiting nearly 90,000 youth participating in more than 160 youth baseball and softball programs across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Europe. For more information visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.