Rays partner with local charities during Spring Training

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - The Tampa Bay Rays will partner with four local charities for a series of fundraising events during the 2012 spring training season.

The Rays will work with the Charlotte County Family YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity and Charlotte County Homeless Coalition.

The Rays will dedicate a spring training home game at Charlotte Sports Park this season to each charity.  The groups will have a representative throw out a ceremonial first pitch and the Rays will provide autographed memorabilia to be auctioned by the charity at that game.

In addition, the Rays will host a guest bartender fundraising event for each charity during the spring season.  The guest bartender events will be held at 6 p.m. on the four Thursday evenings in March on the rooftop bar at the Wyvern Hotel in Punta Gorda, Fla., where the Rays will also host their “Countdown to Opening Day” radio show at 7 p.m. on WDAE 620 AM.  The program is hosted by the Rays radio team of Dave Wills, Andy Freed and Neil Solondz.  Guest bartenders will include Rays staff, players and coaches.

Schedule of events:

Thursday, March 8

Charlotte County Family YMCA Day, 1:05 p.m. vs. Detroit Tigers

Rays guest bartender event and “Countdown to Opening Day” radio show benefitting Charlotte County Family YMCA,
6 p.m., Wyvern Hotel rooftop bar (radio show begins at 7 p.m.)

Thursday, March 15

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast Day, 1:05 p.m. vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Rays guest bartender event and “Countdown to Opening Day” radio show benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast, 6 p.m., Wyvern Hotel rooftop bar (radio show begins at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 21

Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity Day, 1:05 p.m. vs. New York Yankees

Thursday, March 22

Rays guest bartender event and “Countdown to Opening Day” radio show benefitting Charlotte County Habitat for Humanity, 6 p.m., Wyvern Hotel rooftop bar (radio show begins at 7 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 28

Charlotte County Homeless Coalition Day, 7:05 p.m. vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Thursday, March 29

Rays guest bartender event and “Countdown to Opening Day” radio show benefitting Charlotte County Homeless Coalition, 6 p.m., Wyvern Hotel rooftop bar (radio show begins at 7 p.m.)