As part of tonight’s Calpine Community Leaders Night, Calpine CEO Jack Fusco threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 6:05 p.m. game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Over 1,200 Calpine employees were in attendance at the game.
Calpine is one of seven companies currently partnering with the Astros in the Community Leaders program, which will contribute $18.0 million over the next five years to the City of Houston for the renovation and construction of baseball and softball fields in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Each partner in the program will manage a field that they will renovate or construct, and also help maintain partly through employee volunteers. The Astros will ultimately have 12 corporate partners in the Community Leaders program.
Additionally, the program will impact the military community. The Astros plan to hire wounded, former military members as Field Managers. These employees will be responsible for field maintenance, assisting with league play and serving as the corporations’ contact for their fields. Wounded veterans are ideal for these jobs because, through their service, they have demonstrated great leadership, initiative and self-discipline.
Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane is the architect of the Community Leaders program, and has worked with Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Houston Parks and Recreation Director Joe Turner to help select the most appropriate neighborhoods to target for this program.
“The Astros’ Community Leaders program is providing a tremendous service to Houston’s young people at no cost to our taxpayers,” said Mayor Parker. “As a former softball player, I know this program will be successful in encouraging young people to play, and I applaud the Astros and the corporations participating in this program for their community spirit and generosity.”
Additionally, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig commented on the Community Leaders program. “I applaud Jim Crane and the Astros for partnering with so many fine local organizations and impacting the future of youth baseball in Houston,” Selig said. “The Astros’ efforts will help us reach our next generation of leaders, players, coaches and fans. Major League Baseball is a social institution, and I am delighted that the Astros’ new Community Leaders Program will help us meet our important social responsibilities in the communities of Houston.”