07/06/2011 12:57 PM ET
2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Week Community Initiatives to Leave Lasting Legacy in Greater Phoenix Area
Largest Community Project of MLB All-Star Week Valued at $2 Million, To Benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix;More Than $5 Million Will Be Donated to Local and National Charitable Organizations
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (D-backs) will host a series of charitable initiatives and activities leading up to the 82nd MLB All-Star Game that will leave a lasting, positive legacy in the communities of Greater Phoenix and beyond. The MLB All-Star Week community effort, with financial and volunteer support from some of the League's major sponsors, will support children, veterans, cancer research and awareness organizations, and will highlight the importance of environmental consciousness. The community events throughout MLB All-Star Week will begin on Friday, July 8, and continue through Tuesday, July 12, the day of the Midsummer Classic at Chase Field on FOX.
MLB and the D-backs will donate more than $5 million from a portion of the proceeds from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day toward a variety of local and national charities, including Stand Up To Cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Arizona State Veteran Home and the Foundation for Blind Children. Since 1997, more than $45 million has been donated to non-profit organizations from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day proceeds.
"Leaving a lasting legacy for the communities that host the Midsummer Classic each year is an important tradition for Major League Baseball," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "I am proud that we can have a positive impact on young people, veterans and those in need with contributions made by MLB, the D-backs and our partners."
Community activities during 2011 MLB All-Star Week include:
Friday, July 8
Saturday, July 9
- Challenger-Champions Game (Chase Field, Phoenix, AZ) - Special needs children from Little League's Challenger and PONY Baseball/Softball Champions divisions will play a one-inning game on the outfield grass of Chase Field. As the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, Bank of America will provide 35 volunteers for the event, representative of the 300 bank employees who are delivering more than 1,000 hours of service to community projects throughout Phoenix during MLB All-Star Week.
- Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies (Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale, AZ) - The official start of the third annual friendly round-robin tournament consisting of nine baseball and four softball teams of 11-12 year olds from around the country, including Joplin South Little League, whose players were impacted by the recent tornados in Joplin, Missouri and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community RBI, featuring the first team in Jr. RBI Classic history whose entire roster is of Native American descent. Tournament games will be held at Chaparral Park (softball) and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (baseball), the shared Spring Training site of the D-backs and the Colorado Rockies, and the first Major League Baseball Spring Training facility built on Native American land. The facility, which opened in 2011, recently received LEED Gold Certification for New Construction. Jr. RBI playing divisions are a part of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), the MLB youth initiative designed for young people from underserved communities that provides opportunities to play baseball and softball, teaches the value of teamwork and encourages academic success. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation will be supporting the 2011 Jr. RBI Classic with skills clinics in baseball and softball.
- Starlight Fun Center Dedication (St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ) - MLB and the D-backs, in partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation, will unveil a Fun Center mobile entertainment unit -featuring a Nintendo Wii™, DVD player and a Sharp AQUOS™ LCD TV - for young patients at St. Joseph's Hospital. The ease with which Fun Centers roll up to the side of young patients' beds or anywhere in a hospital setting makes them perfect for hospitalized children in numerous situations.
Monday, July 11
- MLB All-Star Project with Rebuilding Together (Arizona State Veteran Home, Phoenix, AZ) - As an extension of the MLB's commitment to the Welcome Back Veterans program, renovations will be made to the Arizona State Veteran Home (ASVH), including the remodeling of the entry area and patio, in addition to the construction of shade covers for patient vans. A new greenhouse will also be constructed for the therapeutic gardening program, as well as for use by the facility's culinary staff and local horticultural clubs to demonstrate and teach about sustainable food practices. Additional renovations include those to recreation room for Veterans and various exterior landscaping upgrades. The Arizona State Veteran Home is a 200-bed Medicare certified skilled nursing facility located two miles north of Chase Field, and is a state-owned-and-operated facility located adjacent to the Veterans Administration Medical Center. ASVH serves the long-term care and rehabilitative needs of the veterans of Arizona. This project is supported by Major League Baseball and the D-backs with a $100,000 donation, and Bank of America, which is making a $75,000 donation and providing nearly 100 employee volunteers toward the project. The Scotts Company, LLC, the Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball, has donated Miracle-Gro® materials for the greenhouse project.
Tuesday, July 12
- MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch A Kieckhefer Family Legacy at the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix (Phoenix, AZ) - With assistance from Magical Builders, Major League Baseball and the Arizona Diamondbacks will reveal comprehensive renovations (valued at $2 million) to the club, including a new games room, teen center, main entry, multi-use outdoor sports field, restrooms, cafeteria, kitchen, youth media center, youth computer lab and building façade. Environmentally sensitive materials and elements have been incorporated into the renovation process. Additionally, a new turf field and backstop will be added to the youth baseball field. The club, which will be officially renamed The MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch A Kieckhefer Family Legacy, serves an at-risk youth population in South Phoenix and is an important destination for young people in the community. A fixture in the southwest Phoenix community for more than 50 years, the club serves more than 1,500 young people, many of whom live at or below the poverty level.
- MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Vision Center for Innovation at the Foundation for Blind Children (Phoenix, AZ) - A check of $1 million will be presented to the Foundation for Blind Children for a new lab and learning center, providing state-of-the-art vision technology, training on use of smartphone devices (iPhone, BlackBerry, etc.) as well as special Braille note takers, laptops, closed circuit television, magnifiers and translation software. Additionally, the donation will provide service technology, upgrades when needed, evaluations and assessments of blind and visually-impaired students. The center will provide resources to nearly 2,000 Arizona children, including hundreds of rural children who do not have access to advanced assistive vision technology.
- American Legion Post 41 Viewing Party (Phoenix, AZ) - A portion of the proceeds from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day will be donated to American Legion Post 41 to assist in rebuilding the roof structure of the organization's 63-year-old building near Chase Field in downtown Phoenix. MLB and the D-backs will host an All-Star Game Viewing Party at Post 41 for veterans and their families. American Legion Post 41 was first opened in 1948 by a group of Mexican-American veterans returning from World War II with a mission to challenge discrimination, better the lives of their community, and provide health care services to families in the community through a well-baby clinic. The American Legion Post 41 family consists of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Sons of American Legion and the American Legion Riders. Post 41 also hosts other veterans organizations, including the Marine Corps League and the Airborne Division Association.
As part of Major League Baseball's ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, MLB will work closely with the D-backs, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and local community partners to help ensure that MLB All-Star Week will be environmentally proactive. This will be the fourth MLB All-Star Week which MLB and NRDC have worked together to implement measures both in-stadium and in supporting events. The initiative includes implementing prominent recycling programs, "Green-e Certified" energy offsets and prioritizing environmental attributes when selecting materials for various community refurbishment projects.
Major League Baseball will also:
- Host the 2011 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest grand prize winner, Meggie Zahneis from West Chester Township, Ohio, whose winning essay was chosen from more than thousands of entries from across the country.
- Host six young people with life-threatening medical conditions from the Make-A-Wish Foundation® whose wish is to attend the MLB All-Star Game.
- Partner with TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) to promote responsible alcohol education through FanFest attraction and designated driver recognition during the MLB All-Star Game.
About the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 12th in Phoenix and will feature the best of the American League taking on the top players of the National League. Building up to the excitement of the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball will conduct a wide variety of special events and charitable activities for fans both inside and outside of Chase Field. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on Sunday, July 10th featuring the XM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 11th featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. Outside of the ballpark, fans will have an opportunity to experience All-Star Summer through a variety of special events including Major League Baseball All-Star FanFest, the five-day interactive fan festival; and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade of All-Stars through the streets of Phoenix, which will be broadcast on MLB Network. The Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally on FOX, broadcast on ESPN Radio and will be shown around the world by Major League Baseball International. For more information about 2011 All-Star Summer, visit www.AllStarGame.com.