On Tuesday, August 2nd, JAYS CARE FOUNDATION, the charitable arm of the TORONTO BLUE JAYS joined representatives from the City of Chestermere to unveil the newly refurbished Jays Care Foundation Field. The project was the recipient of a $150,000 Field of Dreams investment from Jays Care, which was used to refurbish a diamond that had become unsafe for local children.
"The success of the Blue Jays has created a dramatic need for baseball facilities across Canada and Jays Care is committed to providing Canadian children and youth with access to high-quality, safe spaces in which to learn life lessons through sport," said Robert Witchel, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. "The City of Chestermere is a perfect partner for Jays Care - their youth needed a diamond to play, learn and grow on and we are honoured to play a role in bringing this dream to reality."
Chestermere Lake Middle School's ball diamond is one of only two diamonds in Chestermere designed for younger kids (ages 4-12). Unfortunately, the field fell into disrepair over the years and little league teams began practicing at soccer fields due to unplayable conditions at the diamond. The new field will encourage the continued development of baseball in a community that is continuing to grow; with 30% of the population under the age of 20, this contribution will ensure that Chestermere's youngest residents will have a safe and dependable field on which to learn the sport.
"There is a lot of excitement around this ball diamond in our community and we are thrilled to have welcomed Blue Jays representatives to the opening," said Chestermere Mayor Patricia Matthews.
Since 2000, Jays Care has invested more than $8.15 million towards the creation/refurbishment of 78 safe spaces for children and youth including 44 baseball diamonds across Canada.
About Jays Care Foundation
Used intentionally, baseball has the power to create lasting social change for children and youth. That's why we help kids get involved in the game, build safe spaces in which they can play and support organizations dedicated to improving the lives of all Canadian kids.
Jays Care Foundation has been awarded the Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy (2014), the Beyond Sport Sports Team of the Year Award (2013) and the MLB Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence (2012).