Major League Baseball and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig have named the Chicago White Sox as the 2011 recipients of the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created in 2010 to recognize outstanding community efforts of an MLB Club. The White Sox are being acknowledged for the “White Sox Volunteer Corps” program, a unique initiative designed to activate the Club’s fan base to help give back to the greater Chicago community through service. The White Sox will receive a $10,000 grant from Major League Baseball for this recognition.
“The Chicago White Sox have made an outstanding commitment to giving back to their community, epitomized by their innovative White Sox Volunteer Corps program,” Commissioner Selig said. “Their creative approach to galvanizing community members by having them work side by side with players, coaches and Club executives has made an indelible impact on the city of Chicago. As Major League Baseball honors the White Sox today, I congratulate the extensive efforts of all 30 of our Clubs, who help our game fulfill its important social responsibilities and make all of us in Baseball proud.”
The mission of the White Sox Volunteer Corps is to harness the passion of its fans to serve those most in need in the city of Chicago and to create a community of concerned citizens who are dedicated to serving others. The White Sox Volunteer Corps has mobilized nearly 5,000 volunteers and 116 White Sox employees, including players, coaching staff and Club executives who have performed more than 17,000 hours of community service. Service events have included facility improvement, remodeling and renovation projects at Chicago Public Schools and local Boys & Girls Clubs, food repacking and mobile pantry events at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and blood drives conducted in conjunction with the American Red Cross.
“We are incredibly humbled to receive this prestigious award,” said White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “The true recipients of this honor are the thousands of White Sox fans who donate their time and hard work as members of the White Sox Volunteer Corps. The work they have accomplished is an inspiration to all of us and to all of Chicago. We hope the recognition that comes along with the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence inspires everyone to give back to a community which has given each of us so much.”
Launched in 2009, the White Sox Volunteer Corps has contributed labor valued at more than $380,000 through volunteer hours. The Corps is also responsible for the donation of more than $510,000 to non-profit partners to help with the planning and execution of service events, also covering the cost of materials and volunteer services. For more information or to sign up for service events, please visit www.whiteSox.com/volunteercorps.
The Boston Red Sox were the recipients of the inaugural Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence in 2010 for their “Red Sox Scholars” program, which is administered by the Red Sox Foundation and creates educational opportunities for inner-city youth.