Rays plan Spring Training activities in support of Charlotte County community

The Tampa Bay Rays are proud to support the Charlotte County community through several events and community days during the 2017 Spring Training season.

BASEBALL DINNER: The eighth annual BaseBALL Dinner and Auction benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Charlotte County will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 6 p.m. at Charlotte Sports Park. To purchase tickets, fans should call (941) 235-2472. Manager Kevin Cash, his coaching staff and several players are expected to attend this year's event.

HOMELESS COALITION: On Tuesday, February 28, following the team's contest against the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 p.m., Rays staff, along with mascot Raymond, will serve dinner to approximately 100 people at the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition.

SPRING SWING: The Moffitt Cancer Center "Spring Swing" will visit Charlotte Sports Park for the Rays 1:05 p.m. game vs. the Baltimore Orioles on March 4. A mobile patrol and skin screening unit will be present at the game, allowing fans the opportunity for a free skin screening. 

CUT FOR A CURE: Rays players, coaches and front-office staff will shave their heads in support of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation's "Cut for a Cure" program on Sunday, March 19 prior to the Rays 1:05 p.m. start against the Phillies. This will be the sixth straight year the Rays shave their heads to raise awareness and pay tribute to children fighting cancer. More details will be announced at a later date.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Rays staff will participate in a build day in support of Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity, tentatively scheduled for Thursday, March 23 prior to the Rays game vs. the New York Yankees at 1:05 p.m. Details will be announced at a later date.

COMMUNITY DAYS: The Rays have chosen five of their 2017 spring training home games at Charlotte Sports Park as days to honor several special groups who serve the Charlotte County community. 

· Military Appreciation Day: Saturday, February 25 vs. Pirates at 1:05 p.m.

Rays Spring Training Opening Day on Saturday, February 25 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates will be Military Appreciation Day at Charlotte Sports Park, a special tribute to the men and women of Charlotte County who have served their country. The USSOCOM Parachute Team will deliver the American flag and ceremonial first pitch ball as part of a special pregame presentation. The Rays will donate 500 tickets through Charlotte County Veterans Services for local veterans and their families to attend the game, in addition to other games during the 2017 spring training season, and receive special recognition.

· Heroes Day: Wednesday, March 1 vs. Phillies at 1:05 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays will host Heroes Day on Wednesday, March 1 at the Rays vs. Phillies game in recognition of Charlotte County area police, fire, EMT and other first responders. The organizations will be honored on the field before the game and representatives will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Employees of these organizations will be offered the opportunity to receive two (2) complimentary tickets to this game or one of ten (10) other Rays spring training home games, based on availability, by presenting their employee identification badge at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on the day of the game. 

· School Employee Appreciation Day: Saturday, March 4 vs. Orioles at 1:05 p.m.

Saturday, March 4 will be Charlotte County Public Schools Employee Appreciation Day at the Rays vs. Orioles 1:05 p.m. contest. School employees will be honored on the field prior to the game and throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Rays will offer the approximately 2,200 teachers and employees of the Charlotte County Public School system the opportunity to receive two (2) complimentary tickets to this game or one of ten (10) other Rays spring training home games, based on availability, by presenting their Charlotte County employee identification badge at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on the day of the game.

· Charlotte County Day: Thursday, March 9 vs. Pirates at 1:05 p.m.

The Rays will host Charlotte County Day on Thursday, March 9 in recognition of Charlotte County employees at the Rays vs. Pirates game at 1:05 p.m. Employees will be honored on the field prior to the game and have the opportunity to throw the ceremonial first pitch. All employees of Charlotte County will be provided the opportunity to receive two (2) complimentary tickets to this game or one of ten (10) other Rays spring training home games, based on availability, by presenting their Charlotte County employee identification badge at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on the day of the game.

· Little League Day: Sunday, March 19 vs. Phillies at 1:05 p.m.

The Rays will celebrate Little League Day on Sunday, March 19 when the Rays host the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. Little Leaguers and their coaches from Port Charlotte, North Port Area and Venice Little Leagues will receive a complimentary ticket at the box office on the day of the game by wearing their Little League jersey. Representatives from each league will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.  

· Community Day: Monday, March 20 vs. Pirates at 1:05 p.m.

The Rays annual Spring Training "Community Day" will be held on Monday, March 20 at Charlotte Sports Park when the Rays take on the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. Prior to the game, the Rays will recognize numerous community groups with a special on-field presentation in which each group will receive a donation from the Rays Baseball Foundation, and a representative from each group will have the opportunity to throw out the 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 as special guests of the Rays. Each community 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.