Major League Baseball and the Minnesota Twins announced today that the 2014 All-Star community legacy effort, including the contribution of more than $8 million toward local projects and national charitable initiatives, will be the most extensive in Midsummer Classic history, in both number of projects and funding committed. This MLB All-Star Summer community effort, which is largely thanks to a generous contribution by the Pohlad family and consists of a range of renovation projects and life enrichment initiatives, will leave a lasting legacy in the Upper Midwest region of the country and beyond.
The All-Star Community Legacy projects will support several youth baseball field renovations, impact the lives of underserved youth and local veterans, place a focus on improving the health and well-being of local citizens, support cancer research, highlight the importance of environmental consciousness, and complement the midsummer celebration of Baseball and the Minnesota Twins. All initiatives and projects will be unveiled leading up to the 85th MLB All-Star Game, airing LIVE on FOX on Tuesday, July 15th.
More Than $8 Million to Local Projects and National Charities
MLB and the Twins plan to donate more than $8 million, through MLB Charities, the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation, to MLB All-Star projects in the Upper Midwest and to support national charitable initiatives, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, National Recreation and Park Association, Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, and Susan G. Komen, among others. A portion of the funds will be raised from Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 14th.
MLB All-Star Summer Lasting Legacy Support
A significant portion of 2014 MLB All-Star Summer lasting legacy donations will be focused on communities throughout the Greater Twin Cities area and beyond to fund worthy projects and causes, including the following:
- Youth Field Renovations (Northeast Athletic Park Baseball Field - Minneapolis; El Rio Vista Baseball Field - St. Paul; NSP Field - Minneapolis; and Lee Park - Robbinsdale) - MLB All-Star Legacy funding will help renovate four youth baseball fields, owned by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department, to expand the use of these facilities to diverse youth leagues, primarily the Twins Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program. The fields are Northeast Athletic Park and NSP Field in Minneapolis, El Rio Vista Baseball Field in St. Paul, and Lee Park in Robbinsdale. The Northeast Athletic Park Baseball Field will be supported by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Scotts, the Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball. Scotts will also be supporting the renovations at El Rio Vista Park. Lee Park will be renovated in partnership with the Hennepin County Youth Sports Grants. Northeast Athletic Park will be the site of the Opening Ceremonies of the 2014 All-Star Jr. RBI Classic, an event designed to provide the opportunity for young baseball and softball RBI program participants from around the country, ages 11-12, to be a part of the MLB All-Star Week experience.
- Jerry Gamble Boys & Girls Club, Multipurpose Room (Minneapolis) - This project will transform a currently unusable, cracked indoor pool into a multipurpose room to increase and enhance the club's sports, health and performing arts activities. Renovations include: filling in and covering the pool area; and installing a synthetic floor for multi-use athletic space, a new scoreboard, new lighting and windows, bleachers, a stairway to the balcony, an air handler unit for locker rooms, HVAC system and a concessions area. The Jerry Gamble branch of the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities serves more than 3,000 youth each year.
- CommonBond Communities, Veteran Housing at Fort Snelling (Minneapolis) - As an extension of Major League Baseball's Welcome Back Veterans initiative (WelcomeBackVeterans.org), MLB and the Twins will join CommonBond's effort to build an Advantage Services Center as part of a new housing complex for homeless veterans. The 58 new homes will be located on the VA Medical Center campus on the upper post of Fort Snelling. All new households will have access to on-site supportive services at no cost through the Advantage Services Center, the VA Medical Center and third party providers. At Advantage Centers, residents are connected with programs and services that are the lifeline work-age adults need to stabilize their lives, youth need to be academically successful, and individuals with disabilities need to live independently.
- Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary (St. Paul) - MLB and the Twins will help fund a seven-acre woodland restoration and enhancement portion of a larger, multi-phase project. This project will transform a neglected former railroad site into a nature sanctuary complete with prairie, savanna, maple-basswood forest and a storm water management system of filtration ponds and wetlands. St. Paul's Parks and Recreation Department is a project partner.
- Ronald McDonald House of the Twin Cities (Minneapolis) - The project will consist of renovations made to 48 rooms and a common area, and will provide a private, safe, clean and pleasant environment for families of children with life-threatening illnesses. The renovations to the common area will cover the connecting hallways, community spaces and bathrooms. Additionally, a baseball-themed lounge will be featured in the House's central space. The renovations to the 48 rooms will include improvements made to the carpeting, bathrooms, painting, furniture, heating/kitchenette and electronics.
- Miracle League Field (Hibbing) - The Twins and MLB will partner with the Miracle League of the Iron Range to build an official Miracle League Field in Hibbing, Minnesota. The specially-designed field for youth with disabilities will serve kids from more than ten communities in the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota. This will be the first and only field of its kind in this wide swath of the state.
- Kirby Puckett Mobile Eye Clinic - All-Star Legacy funding will go toward the creation of the Kirby Puckett Mobile Eye Clinic, which will be part of the Kirby Puckett Education Center at the Phillip's Eye Institute, to provide more than 43,000 un- or under-insured children and adults through Minnesota with preventative eye care. The Mobile Eye Clinic, which will be integrated into the Early Youth Eyecare (E.Y.E.) program, will become the first stop for vision care for all children who do not pass the vision screenings currently conducted in schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Mobile Eye Clinic will provide many benefits to children and families served by the Phillips Eye Institute, including timely access to quality vision care, providing a comprehensive and consistent vision exam for all E.Y.E. beneficiaries.
- MLB All-Star "Hearing Mission" (Starkey Hearing Foundation, Eden Prairie) - MLB and the Twins, in partnership with Starkey Hearing Foundation, will fit pre-selected recipients with their own customized, state-of-the-art, digital hearing device. Patients will be identified by local audiologists and through partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and local schools for the hearing impaired.
"All-Star FANS CHOOSE" Initiative
Major League Baseball and the Minnesota Twins launched the first-ever "All-Star FANS CHOOSE" grant initiative, which will award $500,000 to a non-profit organization in the Upper Midwest region to support a capital project that will benefit a local community. Non-profit groups in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin may apply at AllStarGame.com/FansChoose through May 23rd. A panel of judges, consisting of representatives from MLB and the Twins, will determine the final five non-profit projects based on the following criteria: impact on community, scope, timeline, environmental improvement, sustainable design, and quality of application. Fans will be able to vote for their favorite projects on AllStarGame.com, from June 10th through July 10th. The winning non-profit and capital project will be announced during MLB All-Star Week in July.
The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K presented by Nike
Major League Baseball and The Color Run are joining together to host the first-ever The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K presented by Nike on Sunday, July 13th at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Participants of all ages will make their way through an All-Star themed course inside the Minnesota State Fairgrounds that will feature appearances by MLB legends, mascots and other special guests. The event is a five-kilometer, un-timed race in which participants are doused in different colored powder at each kilometer. Following the event, a festival including music, giveaways and contests will take place. The event, which is open to participants of all ages, is an entertainment experience for the whole family.
MLB will make a contribution to three charities supporting cancer research and education - Stand Up To Cancer, Prostate Cancer Foundation, and Susan G. Komen, and The Color Run will make a contribution to their charitable partners, Global Citizen and Camp Kesem. Registrants will also have the opportunity to make an additional charitable donation to these charities at the completion of the registration process. Additional supporters of The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K presented by Nike include Aquafina, Firestone, Gatorade, Gillette, Kellogg's, Scotts and T-Mobile. Registration and event information is available at AllStarGame.com/Run.
The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field, the first professional sports facility to receive LEED® Silver certification for both construction and operations, and 2014 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 the following:
- Raising awareness about the importance of "going green" via public service announcements in-stadium and environmental education materials online (MLB.com/green);
- "All-Star Green Teams" will be on hand throughout All-Star Week events wearing branded organic cotton T-shirts and circulating throughout the ballpark collecting recyclable materials;
- Prioritizing recycling and composting of materials at events throughout MLB All-Star Week, including printing on recycled materials and working with concessionaries to recycle grease and oil to be used as bio fuel;
- Addressing energy and water usage through efficiency measures and by investing in renewable energy offsets and water restoration credits;
- Reducing the carbon footprint of All-Star Week events by investing in carbon offsets and encouraging fans to walk or take public transit throughout the week;
- And working with the "Rock and Wrap it Up!" program to donate leftover food from events at Target Field and around the city to assist local organizations.