Rays Baseball Foundation awards $72,500 to nonprofits

ST. PETERSBURG, FL?The Rays Baseball Foundation, the official charity of the Tampa Bay Rays, today awarded a total of $72,500 to 15 local nonprofit organizations through the Community Fund Grant.

“We were very impressed by the creativity and depth of the grant applications from so many bay-area non-profits,” said Rays President Matt Silverman. “The Foundation selected grant opportunities that will help sustain and strengthen not only the youth-focused, nonprofit organizations themselves, but our greater community.”

The Rays Community Fund Grant Program provides assistance to local nonprofits in the Tampa Bay region. Grants worth up to $5,000 are awarded to help support and enhance current programs offered by community-based nonprofit organizations. Through its first five years, the Community Grant Fund has awarded 102 grants to local charities totaling $497,500.

The Rays will award a second round of grants from the 2012 Community Fund Grant in September.  Applications for those grants will be available on raysbaseball.com beginning June 1.

The Rays Baseball Foundation is committed to supporting youth and education programs throughout the Tampa Bay community.  Key contributors to the Foundation include Rays owners, players, sponsors and fans.  Since 2008, the Foundation has proudly invested more than $2.2 million in youth and education programs in the region through grant programs and special events.

The following 15 organizations and their corresponding programs will be supported by the Rays 2012 Community Fund Grant:

  1. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast.................... Sports Buddies Program
  2. Boys and Girls Clubs of Plant City Unit.................... Project Learn Academic Enrichment Program
  3. Brookwood Florida-Central, Inc.................... Independent living training
  4. Children First..................... Childcare scholarships
  5. Devereaux Florida.................... Sulphur Springs Youth Leadership Council
  6. Forty Carrots Family Center.................... On Wheels Parenting Program
  7. Front Porch Community Development Association............. 4-H Gardening and Art Camp Summer Experience
  8. Junior League of St. Petersburg.................... Back-to-School Care Fair Program
  9. Junior League of Tampa.................... Children’s Literacy Project
  10. Manatee Education Foundation..................... Ca$h for Cla$$room Grants Program
  11. Mt. Zion Human Services, Inc.................... Computer and Literacy Enhancement Program
  12. Pinellas Opportunity Council, Inc.................... Youth Development Program
  13. PlaySmart, Inc.................... Playsmart 2012 Academy
  14. Starting Right, Now.................... Technology and supplies for at-risk youth
  15. The Spring of Tampa Bay.................... Planting Seeds of Hope and Renewal Program