Rays to host Spring Training Community Day in support of Charlotte County partners

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays annual Spring Training "Community Day" will be held on Wednesday, March 30 at Charlotte Sports Park when the Rays take on the Red Sox at 1:05 p.m. The event is used to recognize and support some of the Rays community partners in Charlotte County.

At the game, the Rays will recognize the Charlotte County Family YMCA and Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity with a special pregame, on-field presentation in which each group will receive a donation of $5,000 from the Rays Baseball Foundation, and a representative from each group will have the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

The Rays have also partnered with the United Way of Charlotte County and will host several of the organization's partner agencies at the game. Staff and volunteers from each of the following United Way agencies will be on hand as the Rays special guests: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast; C.A.R.E.; Children's Network of Southwest Florida; Girl Scouts of Suncoast Florida; Gulf Coast Family Foster Care; Charlotte County Homeless Coalition; and Lutheran Services Florida. Each organization will have an informational table on display on the main concourse and fans are encouraged to take the opportunity to learn more about these organizations and the meaningful work that they do in Charlotte County.

"We are thrilled to be able to use Rays spring training in Charlotte County to recognize these organizations and their staff and volunteers for the important work they do in this community," said Rays director of strategy and development Robbie Artz. 

"Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity is very thankful to participate in the Tampa Bay Rays Community Day," said Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity senior director of outreach Gabrielle Reineck. "We are truly grateful for the Rays generosity and that they choose to give back to our community through Charlotte County Habitat. Together, we can make a difference."

Charlotte County Family YMCA
Since 1969, the YMCA has been building strong communities through programs that emphasize positive family relationships, environmental responsibility and effective social interaction. The communities of Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port become stronger when the YMCA grows stronger kids.

Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity
Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity partners with low-income families; offering a "hand up not hand out" through their homeownership program. Since 1987, they have helped over 345 families achieve the dream of homeownership. The homeownership program has a 98 percent success rate, and 91 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to building homes for deserving families.