Major League Baseball and the New York Mets will host a series of community and charitable initiatives and projects leading up to the 84th MLB All-Star Game that will leave a lasting legacy benefiting communities throughout New York City and beyond. This MLB All-Star Summer community effort will support recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy, impact the lives of underserved youth and local veterans, support cancer research, highlight the importance of environmental consciousness, and complement the midsummer celebration of Baseball and the New York Mets.
$4 Million Donation to Local and National Charities
MLB and the Mets plan to donate more than $4 million, through MLB Charities and the New York Mets Foundation, to MLB All-Star projects in the New York Metropolitan area and to support national charitable initiatives, including Stand Up To Cancer, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Make-A-Wish®, among others. Some of the local projects were identified in conjunction with the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. The funds will be raised from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 15th.
MLB All-Star Summer Lasting Legacy Support
A significant portion of 2013 MLB All-Star Summer lasting legacy donations will be focused on communities throughout New York City to fund a number of worthy projects and causes, including the following:
- FirstStepNYC (PS/IS 41 in Brownsville, Brooklyn) - Funding for this project will help provide ongoing health, literacy and science activities in a newly renovated outdoor space for FirstStepNYC, a New York City mayoral initiative that draws from Educare, a visionary model of early childhood education. FirstStepNYC recognizes the value of investing in a child's first five years, when critical learning opportunities occur. The program will offer full-day, full-year comprehensive services focused on social-emotional, literacy and language, physical, and cognitive development for 116 children. The ultimate goal is to ensure vulnerable and at-risk children start off school ready, and remain on a path toward college and career readiness. The protected play-space for preschoolers and kindergarteners will be located within an interior courtyard at PS/IS 41, Francis White Elementary School in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The renovated courtyard will also feature a green area for gardening and science activities and a reading literacy corner. Scotts, the official lawn care company of Major League Baseball, will contribute to this project with product donations for the green area. The project will be assisted by Magical Builders, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that partners with community children, local and national businesses, and volunteers to renovate and improve the facilities of children's non-profit organizations across the country. Other key partners include the NYC Department of Education, SCO Family of Services, the Administration for Children's Services, and The Fund for Public Schools.
- Youth Field Renovations (Hinton Park - Flushing, Queens; and O'Donohue Park - Far Rockaway, Queens) - MLB All-Star Legacy funding will help renovate baseball fields owned by NYC Parks: Hinton Park and O'Donohue Park. O'Donohue Park, which is currently primarily used by the all-male private school Yeshiva Darchei Tova, will be made available, with assistance of local council members, to other youth leagues affected by Superstorm Sandy. Renovations to the two fields at Hinton Park, which will be made by Fields, Inc. in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, will include new Astroturf; new home plates, bases and anchors, a portable pitching mound; repairs to fencing; and improvements to bleachers, walls and handrails. Hinton Park also will be the site of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2013 Jr. RBI Classic, an MLB event designed to provide hundreds of young baseball and softball players from Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities an opportunity to participate in MLB All-Star Week. O'Donohue Park renovations will include new infield mix, regrading of skinned infield and grass outfield to facilitate drainage, amending of existing soil, new sod, and a new irrigation system. The field also will feature new dugout fencing, backstop and refurbished outfield fencing and bleachers. O'Donohue Park will be renovated with assistance from Scotts.
- St. Albans Community Living Center (Jamaica, Queens) - With support from Rebuilding Together and Rebuilding Together NYC, the project will upgrade and improve the VA Harbor Healthcare System's (VANYHHS) St. Albans Community Living Center, which provides health care and support services to Veterans in the surrounding area and serves as a home and rehabilitation facility for many Veterans. The project will focus on upgrading an outdoor greenspace and recreation area, including accessibility modifications and the addition of an enclosed patio, providing residents independent, year-round access to a shared community space. Bank of America, the official bank of Major League Baseball, will support this project by committing its employees as volunteers and more than $75,000 in funding. Scotts will support this project with product donations. MLB is committed to supporting Veterans and their families, especially through the league's Welcome Back Veterans initiative (WelcomeBackVeterans.org).
- Boys & Girls Club Construction Project (South Queens Boys & Girls Club - Richmond Hill, Queens) - With assistance from Magical Builders, a new 3,000 square foot Teen Center and Café will be constructed. The Teen Center will include a technology lab, a college lab, classroom space, a lounge and a viewing balcony overlooking the new gymnasium. The center will serve high school students in the Metro Queens area, including Richmond Hill, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Howard Beach and Jamaica. The goal of the new Teen Center will be to enable teens who are often considered "at-risk" to become well-rounded, engaged citizens. The teens will participate in college tours, career seminars, job readiness training, dance classes and cultural trips. The new center is part of an overall $11 million capital improvement program being undertaken by the South Queens Boys & Girls Club, which will soon be renamed the "Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens." Additionally, Scotts will support this project's landscaping renovations with product donations.
- City Harvest - Funds will go toward supporting the organization's fleet of refrigerated trucks, which were damaged during Superstorm Sandy, and to helping feed New Yorkers in need. Founded in 1982, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization - dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women and children. In 2013, City Harvest will collect more than 42 million pounds of excess food and deliver it free of charge to some 600 community food programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City.
- Wheelchair Sports Federation - Major League Baseball and the Mets will donate 25 sports wheelchairs for adaptive athletes who participate in Wheelchair Sports Federation activities. Many potential and current adaptive athletes of all ages have financial issues due to their disability, and a special sports wheelchair is usually not covered by insurance and can cost up to $5,000.
The 2013 MLB All-Star Summer will build on the continued commitment to the environment by Major League Baseball and the partnership with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) by incorporating a wide variety of environmentally-sensitive efforts, including:
- Raising awareness about the importance of "going green" via public service announcements in-stadium and environmental education materials online (MLB.com/green);
- Prioritizing recycling and composting of materials at events throughout MLB All-Star Week;
- Addressing energy and water usage through efficiency measures and by investing in renewable energy offsets and water restoration credits.