MLB Press Release
MLB All-Star Week projects to benefit Kansas City community and beyond are most extensive in Midsummer Classic history
Initiatives include Habitat for Humanity home builds in communities devastated by tornadoes and renovations to baseball/softball fields, veteran and youth facilities; Approximately $4 million benefits local and national organizations
Leading up to the 83rd MLB All-Star Game, Major League Baseball and the Kansas City Royals will unveil the most extensive lasting legacy endeavor in MLB All-Star Week history through projects that benefit the Kansas City community and beyond. The efforts feature: Habitat for Humanity home builds in partnership with families impacted by tornadoes; renovations to youth baseball/softball fields, and veteran and youth facilities; support for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; support for youth outreach programs; scholarships for college-bound students; raising funds and awareness for cancer organizations; and highlighting the importance of environmental consciousness. The community events throughout the week will begin on Friday, July 6th and continue through Tuesday, July 10th - the day of the Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium, airing on FOX.
MLB and the Royals will donate approximately $4 million from a portion of the proceeds from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day (Monday, July 9th) toward a variety of local and national organizations, including Stand Up To Cancer, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and Operation Breakthrough, among others. Since 1997, more than $48 million has been donated to non-profit organizations from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day proceeds.
"The All-Star Game is a celebration of our sport, and one of its great traditions is giving back to the communities that host our festivities," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "All of us at Major League Baseball are honored to partner with the Royals and use the unique platform of the Midsummer Classic to help many worthy organizations and communities of the Kansas City area and beyond."
Habitat for Humanity "All-Star Build" with State Farm, the Players Trust and Holiday Inn Hotels
MLB, State Farm, the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Holiday Inn® Hotels have teamed up with Habitat for Humanity in an effort to build nine new homes in partnership with low-income families in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., which were two of the communities devastated by tornadoes in April and May of 2011. Two of the nine homes will be framed during All-Star Week in a section of the parking lot at Kauffman Stadium, and the work will be supported by volunteers from State Farm, which is funding the cost of more than half of the nine homes, and Holiday Inn Hotels. The All-Star Build sites at Kauffman Stadium will be visited by 2012 MLB All-Stars, participants in the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, Royals legends and more. In addition to the two homes being framed in Kansas City, five of the nine homes already have been completed, and construction on the final two will conclude in the fall. Fans may also text ALLSTAR to 25383 to donate $10 to support Habitat's disaster response work; message and data rates may apply. Holiday Inn Hotels will match fan donations, up to $30,000, and contribute additional funding, if necessary, in order to guarantee a minimum donation of $60,000 to Habitat for Humanity.
Friday, July 6th
- Challenger-Champions Game (Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO) - Special needs children from Little League's Challenger and PONY Baseball/Softball Champions divisions will play a one-inning game on the outfield grass at Kauffman Stadium, with the help of volunteers from the Royals.
- Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies (Satchel Paige Memorial Stadium, Kansas City, MO) - The official start of the fourth annual friendly, round-robin tournament designed to provide hundreds of young Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) baseball and softball players an opportunity to participate in MLB All-Star Week. The tournament consists of eight baseball and four softball teams of 11-12 year olds from around the United States and Canada, including Toronto Blue Jays RBI, who represent the first Canadian team in Jr. RBI Classic history. Opening ceremonies will be held at Satchel Paige Memorial Stadium, which was renovated thanks to MLB All-Star Legacy funding and product donations by The Scotts Company, LLC, the Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball. Renovations included an upgraded irrigation system, infield and outfield maintenance, fencing construction and installation, backstop maintenance, installation of a Satchel Paige marker and other improvements to the general facility surrounding the field.
- Starlight Fun Center Dedication (Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO) - MLB and the Royals, in partnership with Starlight Children's Foundation, will unveil a Fun Center mobile entertainment unit - featuring a Nintendo Wii&153;, DVD player and a Sharp AQUOS&153; LCD TV - for patients at Children's Mercy 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 to distract them from pain and anxiety, and alleviate stress, loneliness and isolation.
- Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) Field Renovation (Cleveland Park, Kansas City, MO) - Field renovations at Cleveland Park, which serves nearly 800 players in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City (BGCGKC) RBI league, will be unveiled during the first day of the Jr. RBI Classic. In order to improve the condition of the fields and increase the number of local RBI participants, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) awarded a grant of $50,000 to provide funding for the renovations, which included infield mix, laser grading and drainage surrounding the four fields at the park. The MO-KAN Chapter of the Sports Turf Managers Association, evaluated the field conditions, recommended the proposed renovations and provided volunteer labor to complete the project. Jr. RBI Classic games will be played on the fields at Cleveland Park. BTF is a joint initiative between the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses.
- Additionally, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund will participate in a ceremonial check presentation, in the amount of $150,000, at Kauffman Stadium prior to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 8th. The ceremony is to celebrate the eighth year of the BTF Equipment Day Program, and additional participants include BTF Board Members and executives from Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game Managers George Brett and Bernie Williams. Each year, BTF teams with MLB Clubs to collect new and used equipment from fans, players and staff to support organizations in need. In conjunction with the drives, Baseball Tomorrow Fund awards $150,000 for the purchase of new equipment each year, and since 2005, $1 million has been awarded to 250 organizations. Earlier this year, the Royals equipment collection at Kauffman Stadium benefitted Alta Vista Charter School, serving more than 60 players in Kansas City.
Saturday, July 7th
- MLB All-Star "Rebuilding Together" Project (Kansas City VA Honor Annex, Kansas City, MO) - As an extension of MLB's commitment to the Welcome Back Veterans initiative (WelcomeBackVeterans.org), renovations were made to the Kansas City VA Honor Annex, which will provide special services for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and female veterans. Renovations, led by the national non-profit Rebuilding Together, include creating family-friendly, baseball-themed play areas in the waiting area for patients' children, improving aesthetics of the clinic offices and meetings areas, and enhancing the landscape surrounding the facility, which was recently added to the Kansas City VA Medical Center system. Additionally, the interior work to the building will benefit veterans of all eras involved in the PTSD Outpatient Treatment Program and other Annex programs. Bank of America, the Official Bank of Major League Baseball, has supported this project by committing its employees as volunteers and more than $66,000 to the project. The Scotts Company has also supported renovations with landscape materials and product donations. The Kansas City VA Medical Center, which opened in 1952, is a referral medical center providing medical care to approximately 45,000 veterans from five different states each year.
- Bank of America's MLB All-Star Week support for the military also features interactive action at MLB All-Star FanFest/Kansas City Convention Center, where fans can write words of thanks to troops on baseballs that will be used to create a patriotic mosaic; and at MLB All-Star Sponsor Zone/Kauffman Stadium, where visitors will have a chance to hit a baseball over a military vehicle. For each signed ball and "home run," Bank of America will donate $1 to USO Fort Riley, up to a maximum of $20,000.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Independence Unit (Independence, MO) - Major League Baseball and the Royals will unveil renovations made to the Club's interior, which were made with assistance from Magical Builders. Improvements to the newly named "Independence Unit" include new classrooms, restrooms, furniture throughout the club and an improved HVAC system. The project will bring the facility, which was in critical need of improvements due to its previous physical limitations, into alignment with state requirements, making the Independence Unit annually eligible for subsidies to provide school-aged child care and food subsidies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a result of the improvements, total membership is expected to grow by 60% by 2015. The Scotts Company contributed with landscaping product and material donations. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, which serve nearly 8,000 youth members, ages 5 to 18, at five community-based sites and three youth baseball facilities located throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Sunday, July 8th
- "They Were All Stars" Travel Exhibit Unveil (Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas City, MO) - With help from MLB All-Star Legacy Funds, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has created a new, dynamic traveling exhibit that will display historical photos, video and text of and about former Negro Leagues players who became MLB All-Stars after the integration of baseball in 1947. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum will develop a three-to-five year national tour of the exhibit after its premiere during All-Star Week in Kansas City, with plans to make it available in future All-Star Game cities. In addition, a portion of the exhibit will be integrated into the current, permanent "Major League Baseball" section of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Fans will be able to learn about legendary players such as Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Monte Irvin, Don Newcombe and more, while also gaining an understanding of the impact baseball has as a tool for social change. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is a privately funded, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-Americans in baseball. Visitors can experience a tour of multi-media displays, the museum store, and hundreds of photographs and artifacts dating from the late 1800s through the 1960s. The NLBM opened its permanent 10,000 square foot facility in 1997 in the 18th & Vine museum complex in the heart of Kansas City.
- All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike (Kansas City, MO) - Participants will run and walk on an All-Star-themed course that begins and ends in downtown Kansas City's Power and Light District, featuring appearances by MLB legends, mascots and celebrity guests. Hall of Famer George Brett will serve as the Official Race Starter and will captain a fundraising team, the "Brett 5 Team." Additionally, five-time All-Star and MLB Network analyst Mike Sweeney has created the "Sween Team" and three-time All-Star Jeff Montgomery will lead "Monty's 5K Crew." Alison Sweeney, host of The Biggest Loser, will run in the event and will also help begin the event and cheer on participants at the starting line. American Idol winner David Cook, who used to work at the Stadium Club in Kauffman Stadium, will run in the event and will hand out medals and congratulate participants as they cross the finish line. MLB will donate 100% of net proceeds from the event to three charities supporting cancer research and awareness - Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and the Greater Kansas City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike is also supported by Aquafina, Bayer Advanced Aspirin, Gatorade, One A Day, Scotts and the University of Kansas Hospital.
Monday, July 9th
- Operation Breakthrough Renovation (Kansas City, MO) - Major League Baseball and the Royals will unveil the completed project of creating classroom environments to increase the children's ability to concentrate and learn, which will help the Operation Breakthrough daycare center improve its after-school and summer enrichment programs for low-income families. Renovations made to the facility's infrastructure, with assistance from Magical Builders, included replacing ceiling, drywall, glass and windows, installing new walls and doors, painting and electrical work and sprinkler relocation. The mission of Operation Breakthrough is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.
Tuesday, July 10th
- Mulkey Square Park Field Renovation (Kansas City, MO) - Renovations to the baseball field in Mulkey Square Park, which is primarily used by the Guadalupe Center Youth Baseball program, include the installation of a new irrigation system, infield and outfield maintenance, new infield skin, fencing construction and installation, backstops, dugouts, new storage shed full of field maintenance equipment and other improvements to the facility surrounding the field. Product donations by the Scotts Company contributed to the completion of this project.
2012 MLB All-Star Week will build on the continued commitment to the environment by Major League Baseball and its partnership with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) by incorporating a wide variety of environmentally-sensitive efforts, including:
- Addressing energy and water usage through efficiency measures and by investing in renewable energy offsets and water restoration credits;
- Prioritizing recycling at events throughout MLB All-Star Week, including an All-Star Green Team of volunteers circulating Kauffman Stadium during the All-Star Game to collect recyclables from fans;
- Raising awareness about the importance of "going green" via public service announcements in-stadium and environmental education materials online (MLB.com/green);
- Incorporating eco-friendly materials including low volatile organic compound materials such as paint and sealants, low flow plumbing fixtures, FSC certified wood and locally produced materials into community refurbishment projects;
- Collecting and donating unused food after several All-Star events including the All-Star Game Gala and Pre-Game Celebration.
Major League Baseball will also:
- Host five MLB-Royals All-Star Scholars program scholarship recipients, who were each awarded a four-year, $2,500 per-year scholarship. The inaugural scholarship winners will be recognized at the Jr. RBI Classic Opening Ceremonies.
- Host one of this year's Breaking Barriers Essay Contest grand prize winners: Raeya Ponugoti, a fifth grader from Indianapolis, Indiana, whose winning essay was chosen from thousands of entries from across the country and Canada.
- Host six kids with life-threatening medical conditions from Make-A-Wish®that wished to attend the MLB All-Star Game.
- Partner with TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) to promote responsible alcohol education through a FanFest attraction and designated driver recognition during the MLB All-Star Game.
- Anheuser-Busch, celebrating their 30th anniversary of promoting alcohol responsibility, will support this effort through their "Good Sport" program. The program will be highlighted throughout Kauffman Stadium and MLB Sponsor Zone with kiosks reminding fans to drink responsibly. In MLB ballparks in 2011, a record of more than 450,000 baseball fans pledged to be designated drivers.
About the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 10th in Kansas City 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 Kauffman Stadium. At the ballpark, the events will include Taco Bell All-Star Sunday on July 8th featuring the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 9th 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; the All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run presented by Nike, a charity run/walk on a baseball-themed route to benefit three cancer organizations; and the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show presented by Chevrolet, a free parade of All-Stars through the streets of Kansas City, 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 2012 All-Star Summer, visit www.AllStarGame.com.