Alameda County Community Food Bank Visit, A's Community Fund Holiday Party

Second baseman Jemile Weeks and pitcher Tyson Ross, two rising young stars for the Oakland Athletics, will be making off-season appearances this week at the Alameda County Community Food Bank and the annual A's Community Fund Holiday Party as part of the team's ongoing outreach efforts in the City of Oakland.

Over the past several years, the A's have donated funding, game tickets, souvenir items, baseball equipment, and player and staff time to many organizations in the city, ranging from every level of the Oakland public school system, to the Oakland Boys and Girls Clubs, to Society of St. Vincent de Paul, to Oakland Babe Ruth and Little Leagues, and many others.  

Earlier this year, the A's Community Fund also donated $370,000 to Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland and Stand Up To Cancer with funds raised from the world premiere of Columbia Pictures' Moneyball, which was staged at the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland Sept. 19.

Weeks and Ross will join the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland for a holiday food and fund drive Wednesday, beginning at 2 p.m.  The first 150 people who make a minimum donation of 10 non-perishable food items, or $20 cash, will receive an autographed photo from both players.  The Food Bank expects record demand for emergency food assistance this winter and is requesting healthy, high-quality food items, including canned meats, fish and vegetables; pasta and sauce; low-sugar cereal; rice and beans; low-salt soups and stews; and peanut butter.  

This food drive continues the Athletics' long-time partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bank.  During the 2011 season, the A's collected more than $7,500 and 2,500 pounds of food as part of Food Bank Wednesdays at the Coliseum.  Established in 2007, the program asks fans to make a donation of five food items, or $5 cash, at Wednesday home games in exchange for a ticket voucher for a future A's game.  

The A's Community Fund Holiday Party, a private function this Thursday at the Oakland Zoo, is an annual event where the team hosts an elementary school for lunch, entertainment and player autographs.  Weeks, one of the top rookies in the American League this past season, and Ross, who starred at nearby Bishop O'Dowd High School and the University of California in Berkeley, will greet approximately 200 youngsters from Oakland's Burckhalter Elementary School-from kindergarten through fifth grade-this week.  The players will sign autographs and pose for photos with the students, who will also receive a wrapped gift, compliments of the Good Tidings Foundation.

The A's Holiday Party will also include an animal presentation in the Wildlife Theater by the Oakland Zoo, lunch courtesy of Round Table Pizza, plus face painters, arts and crafts, and a visit by Santa and A's mascot, Stomper.

Beyond this week's activities, a partial list of A's community outreach programs in the City of Oakland this past year:

2011 A's Community Outreach in the City of Oakland

  • The Sept. 19 premiere of Columbia Pictures' Moneyball, staged at the Paramount Theatre of the Arts in downtown Oakland, generated more than $370,000 in charitable donations to benefit the Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland and Stand Up To Cancer. The donations, shared equally between the two cancer-related organizations, were made through the Oakland A's Community Fund.
  • A's All-Star pitcher Gio Gonzalez and team mascot Stomper visit Manzanita SEED Elementary School in Oakland on April 15, as a reward for the students' hard work and academic achievement. SEED was one of two California public schools to be named the 2010 National Title I Distinguished Schools by the National Title I Association in November, 2010.
  • The A's and the Good Tidings Foundation refurbished the "Together We Can" outdoor wiffle ball/kickball area at the Oakland Schools Police Department. On July 29, A's team president Michael Crowley, A's second baseman Jemile Weeks and Stomper joined Oakland Schools Police Chief Peter C. Sarna and children from the summer camp in an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Together We Can program fosters positive relationships between youth, the community, and police.
  • On Sept. 13, Gonzalez and Stomper visited Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland on behalf of the Wells Fargo School Supply program. Gonzalez spoke to the students about setting goals, signed autographs, and assisted Wells Fargo representatives in dropping off 2,000 donated school supplies. The A's and Wells Fargo collected school supplies during Friday home dates at the Coliseum with more than 5,000 supplies collected over the past two years of this program. In addition, the A's and Wells Fargo awarded 10 grants to deserving and underserved schools in Alameda and Contra Costa counties during an on-field pre-game presentation.
  • On July 26, Craig Breslow, Andrew Bailey, Brian Fuentes, Trevor Cahill, Weeks, David DeJesus and Eric Sogard, along with wives and significant others, visited with patients at the Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland. On Sept. 18, the A's treated 60 patients from the Children's Hospital's Psychology Oncology Program's "Teen Cancer Support Group and Siblings Program" to a special pre-game batting practice visit and meet-and-greet with A's players. Breslow's "Strike 3 Foundation" funded these two programs with a $25,000 grant he awarded the Children's Hospital and Research Center Oakland this year.
  • The A's collected 2,500 pounds of food and $7,500 on Food Bank Wednesdays this season, which provided 24,000 meals for children and adults facing hunger in Alameda County.
  • About three dozen front office employees volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul in Oakland the week leading up to Thanksgiving, serving food during a four-hour time period each day throughout the week.
  • The A's donated more than 34,000 tickets to various Oakland organizations during the 2011 season. Included in that total are 10 senior centers in Oakland that received anywhere from 50 to 150 game tickets each.
  • The North/South Oakland Little League received a $5,000 grant through the Baseball Tomorrow Fund as the recipient of the 2011 A's Equipment Drive.
  • Oakland Babe Ruth Little League received an A's coaches clinic at the Oakland Coliseum on July 3 for 100 children, plus tickets to that day's game.
  • The Athletics donated 500 bats, 250 caps and 100 exercise mats to the "Baseball Clinic with the Pros," which was held at Oakland's Greenman Field. In addition, Stomper visited the 432 children who participated in the free open-to-the-public baseball clinic.
  • Through 23 different Oakland-based charities, more than 3,000 children from low- to moderate-income families were treated to A's games as part of the Little A's program, sponsored by Bank of America. In addition to a game ticket, each child received a Bank of America keychain and children's passes to the Oakland Zoo.
  • Fifty at-risk students from Oakland Public schools were provided tutoring before select A' s home games as part of the Green Stampede Homework Club program, sponsored by Service Champions. Students who attended all eight study sessions received a visit from an A's player. On Sept. 13, in addition to a visit by Weeks, the students received a special visit from Raiders' defensive lineman Richard Seymour who spoke to the children about leadership.
  • The A's Amigos program gave Hispanic children the opportunity to hear an A's player speak about the importance of education, sportsmanship and hard work. In addition to the pregame visit, each child received a game ticket and an A's hat, courtesy of Kelly-Moore Paint and XFINITY. Among the recipients were approximately 60 children from the Latino Commission, Spanish Speaking Citizens Foundation and Homies Empowerment Program, all organizations based in Oakland.
  • For the 2010-11 school year, more than 16,000 students Bay Area wide participated in the A's Home Run Reader Program, including 11 Oakland elementary schools and 2,669 Oakland students.
  • The A's and Ross Dress For Less designed and distributed more than 19,000 "Mathletics" workbooks (also available for download on the A's website), which utilize simple formulas for calculating statistics of A's players, to students in an effort to stress the importance of math. Students who completed their workbooks correctly, and submitted the answer sheet to the A's, received two ticket vouchers. Of those 19,000 workbooks, approximately 350 were distributed to students through four elementary schools in the City of Oakland.
  • The A's raised $63,200 on this year's Breast Cancer Awareness Day, sponsored by Big O Tires, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention Institute of California, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a part of "A Gift of Faith" grant, the A's donate $5,000 annually to the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland in memory of longtime KTVU Channel 2 reporter, the late Faith Fancher.
  • Every Saturday and Sunday home game, the A's host a silent auction of game-used, autographed memorabilia with proceeds split between the A's Community Fund and a designated silent auction partner. This year's silent auction partners included five Oakland based non-profits or charities.
  • The A's Community Fund and Grant Thornton LLP raised $50,000 for Oakland schools through the "A's Wins For Schools Program," where for every A's win, $600 was donated to the Oakland Schools Foundation.
  • On April 2, the A's and AvoDerm Natural hosted a "Pet Adoption Day at the Park," where fans adopted animals from the East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals throughout the game.
  • Through the "A's Double Play Program," the A's, in partnership with George Zimmer and the Men's Wearhouse, raised $14,500 for the Oakland Zoo.
  • The Fifth Annual Dave Stewart/Oakland A's High School Baseball Showdown was hosted by De La Salle High School and the A's Community Fund May 7 at the Coliseum. In hopes of promoting youth interaction at the high school level, the event featured games between local high schools and an appearance by former A's pitcher Dave Stewart, and raised $1,800 for the East Bay inner-city youth baseball programs.
  • The State Farm "Go To Bat" Award recognizes organizations and individuals who are striving to make a positive impact within their communities. This year, the A's and State Farm recognized Regina Jackson of the East Oakland Development Center, Bettina Flores of the Hispanic Community Affairs Council, Michelle Lewis on behalf of the Northern Light School, and Lisa Klein who founded the Oakland non-profit organization Loved Twice.
  • The A's showcased the Joyce Gordon Youth Art Alliance exhibit "Aerosoul" in the Westside Club of the Coliseum during the A's home games from May 27 through June 1. The Joyce Gordon Youth Art Alliance, led by Joyce Gordon and assisted by artist Senay Dennis, mentors and cultivates young Oakland artists.