Fan Fest proceeds to go to Haiti relief

Fan Fest proceeds to go to Haiti relief

ST. PETERSBURG -- Hoping to assist with the Haiti relief efforts, the Rays announced Monday they will contribute proceeds from the Tampa Bay Rays 2010 Fan Fest, presented by MetroPCS, to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund and Save the Children.

In addition, the Rays and the Rays Baseball Foundation will make donations totaling more than $50,000 to the two relief funds, including $15,000 from first baseman Carlos Peña.

When the earthquake struck last week, Peña was visiting his family in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, approximately 80 miles from Haiti.

"The tragedy in Haiti has impacted us all," Rays president Matt Silverman said. "As an organization we wanted to help, and we encourage our fans to join in the global effort as well. Together we can make a difference."

Fan Fest will be held Feb. 20 at Tropicana Field from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Admission and parking at Fan Fest remain free for all fans, but a $20 donation will allow fans the opportunity to get autographs from Rays players and coaches throughout the day. Autographs for kids 14 and under and season-ticket holders are free with a wristband.

The Rays will also accept donations for both charities during Fan Fest, which will once again feature numerous interactive experiences for children and families. Fans can visit the Bright House Sports Network Kids Interactive Zone and take a swing in a big league batting cage, test their fastball in the speed-pitch booth and hit a home run in the Wiffle Ball Home Run Derby.

Kids will also have the chance to run the bases and all fans can tour the Rays' clubhouse. There will be baseball card and memorabilia displays. In addition, former Major League players will be on hand throughout the day signing autographs. There will also be panel discussions led by the Rays broadcasters interviewing baseball luminaries in the Batter's Eye restaurant. Fans are encouraged to stop by the MetroPCS Call-A-Friend Stage from 1-3 p.m. to have the opportunity for a Tampa Bay player to call a friend or family member and receive the most up-to-date information on MetroPCS products.

Fans may log on to www.raysbaseball.com or call 888-FAN-RAYS for more information on the Rays 2010 Fan Fest. More Fan Fest details will be released in February.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.