MLB supports local Bay Area charities

MLB supports local Bay Area charities

SAN FRANCISCO -- Behind the scenes of the All-Star Week events, Major League Baseball is contributing to the local community in a number of ways.

Throughout All-Star Week, MLB is recognizing local teachers, donating tickets to local youth organizations, donating food items to local food banks and making contributions to local charities in an effort to leave a lasting impact on the community.

MLB is teaming with Fox Sports Net (FSN) Bay Area for the Stay in School Challenge, a community outreach program that addresses student absenteeism among middle and high school-aged kids.

As part of the program, FSN Bay Area recognized five All-Star teachers in the Bay Area, with one teacher -- San Francisco native Michael Meneses of Presidio Middle School -- being named the 2007 Bay Area All-Star Teacher.

Meneses received $10,000 for his school and will be recognized at a San Francisco Giants game. Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson's daughter and an MLB Educational Programming Consultant, presented a check to Meneses on Saturday at FanFest.

Robinson said she liked how the teachers were nominated for the honor.

"[FSN] got them from recommendations from students and from parents and from other teachers," said Robinson. "In fact, the young man that won -- Michael Meneses -- he was nominated by his 10-year-old student."

She said the teachers' backgrounds were promoted in the local area and then, along with FSN, the community helped choose the winning teacher.

"It was actually won by a combination of committee and community, so it was really very special," she said.

Robinson said she enjoyed being a part of the presentation to honor a local teacher.

"It was very exciting ... to have teachers recognized by baseball and by FOX Sports News, it was quite wonderful," Robinson said. "I was very proud of baseball for being a part of that, and FOX hopes to do it again, so we totally support that."

In 2006, more than 18,000 students from 143 Bay Area schools took part in the Stay in School Challenge. Over the last 11 years, the Stay in School Challenge has provided more than 215,000 Oakland Athletics and Giants tickets to participating students.

MLB is also working with Tickets for Kids Charities to distribute 2,250 FanFest tickets this week to local youth organizations. Tickets for Kids Charities is a non-profit organization that obtains tickets to a wide variety of local events and distributes them to children and families.

All-Star Game Coverage

Five non-profit organizations, including MLB's official charity, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, March of Dimes, Turn 2 Foundation and Good Sports will be allocated tickets for purchase to enhance their fundraising efforts.

After the All-Star Game Gala and All-Star Pre-Game Celebration, MLB is donating perishable food to three local food banks in the community.

Food Runners, a local food collection volunteer service, will be one of the recipients of the donations. Food Runners delivers more than 10 tons of leftover food each week from catered events to local soup kitchens. Volunteers pick up concessions-generated food that was prepared but not served and deliver it to the hungry. Food Runners San Francisco delivers 2,000 meals a day that would otherwise be thrown out.

The St. Anthony's Foundation Dining Room will be another recipient of donations. The Dining Room offers meals to the hungry and serves over 2,600 meals per day. It's open 365 days a year and has been operating since 1950.

Glide also will be a recipient of the food donations. Glide provides three meals a day, 365 days a year to San Francisco's poor, homeless and hungry. Meals are monitored by a licensed nutritionist who advises program management on menu planning and content. Glide serves more than 1,000,000 meals per year.

MLB and the Giants will donate almost $4 million of the net proceeds from the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday to local and national charities.

Some of the organizations that will receive contributions from MLB include: The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Boys Hope Girls Hope, National Recreation and Park Association, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Roberto Clemente Sports City and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

The Giants will use proceeds from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day to support projects such as the Boys & Girls Club at Hunters Point renovation, a field renovation in the Mission District and a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar.

Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.