Tribe donating $1M to benefit youth of Northeast Ohio
By William Kosileski
CLEVELAND -- After manager Terry Francona and several other members of the 2016 American League champion Indians helped create the Larry Doby Youth Fund in October, the team announced the recipients of $1 million in grants on Friday.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Clubs of Cleveland, College Now Greater Cleveland Inc. and Cleveland Peacemakers Inc. are just three of the 18 recipients of the grants.
"The Cleveland Indians organization has demonstrated inspiring generosity and commitment to our community through the personal donations of the entire franchise," Ronn Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation, said in a release. "Thanks to these hometown champions, $1 million has now been invested in 18 terrific Cleveland nonprofit organizations, all focused on helping our youth thrive and prosper."
The fund was created to support organizations within the Northeast Ohio community that provide educational assistance and resources to help repress youth violence in the City of Cleveland. The money for the fund was raised thanks to contributions from team chairman/CEO Paul Dolan and vice chairman John Sherman, as well as donations from players, coaches, staff and the general public.
"Community engagement is what makes the Cleveland Indians a special organization," Dolan said in a statement. "We have a great roster and staff who care about making the community better, and I am excited to see how our fund will support those agencies and organizations that are already making a difference."
Dolan also serves as the vice chairman of the Cleveland Foundation's board of directors.
The announcement of the recipients comes one day ahead of Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, honoring Robinson breaking of MLB's color barrier on April 15, 1947. The fund is named after Hall of Famer and Indians legend Larry Doby, who was the first African-American to play in the American League. Doby debuted with the Indians on July 5, 1947.
"[Doby] endured many unfair hardships and challenges, and handled everything with the professionalism and grace that defined him," Francona said when the fund was launched last fall. "In Mr. Doby's spirit, we have created The Larry Doby Youth Fund."
Money raised from the 2016 postseason watch parties at Progressive Field during the Tribe's run to the World Series was also donated to help reach the $1 million goal.
"We are very fortunate to be a part of Major League Baseball," Francona said. "And we accept the social responsibility that comes with that -- to use our resources to directly make an impact on the underserved youth of our community, and to make our community better."
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.