Rays Baseball Foundation awards $100,000 to local nonprofits

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-On Friday, June 6, the Rays Baseball Foundation, the official charity of the Tampa Bay Rays, awarded a total of $100,000 to 20 local nonprofit organizations through the Community Fund Grant Program.

The nonprofit grant recipients were recognized during a luncheon at Tropicana Field. Guests had a chance to network with other charities and also participated in a question and answer session with Rays players David DeJesus and Ryan Hanigan as well as Senior Vice President of Business Operations Brian Auld, a Rays Baseball Foundation board member.

DeJesus and Hanigan are among eight Rays players who contribute to the Rays Baseball Foundation annually. That list also includes Grant Balfour, James Loney, Evan Longoria, Jose Molina, Joel Peralta and Ben Zobrist.  

The Rays Community Fund Grant Program provides assistance to local nonprofits in the Tampa Bay region. Grants averaging $5,000 are awarded to help support and enhance current programs offered by community-based nonprofit organizations. To date, the Community Grant Fund Program has awarded more than 169 grants to local charities totaling $872,500.

The Rays will award a second round of grants from the 2014 Community Fund Grant in September. Applications for those grants are available on raysbaseball.com/community through August 1.

The following 20 organizations and their corresponding programs will be supported by the Rays 2014 Community Fund Grant:

1. Bess the Book Bus, Inc. Summer Reading Adventures
2. Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County ATOSS Program
3. Brookwood Florida Central Independent Living Training
4. Champions for Children Kids on the Block
5. Clothes to Kids Pre-K School Uniform Program
6. Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) CASA Youth Center Support
7. Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center Art Around the World
8. Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, Inc. Raising a Reader Project
9. Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County, Inc. School Readiness Scholarship Program
10. Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc. Positive Youth Development from the Inside Out
11. Front Porch Community Development Association Youth 4-H Gardening and Art Camp
12. Greater Palm River Community Development Corp. B.E.S.T. (Brain Expansions Scholastic Training)
13. Pasco-Hernando Community College Foundation, Inc. Concept College
14. Polk Education Foundation and Business Partners, Inc. Teacher to Teacher/School to School Connection
15. Ready for Life, Inc. Education Determination Goals and Empowerment
16. Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) Moving Forward, Building Up!
17. Serve - Volunteers in Education Summer VPK Reading Buddies
18. The Edible Peace Patch Project Wellness Kitchen Program
19. Ready for Life, Inc. Education Determination Goals and Empowerment
20. YWCA of Tampa Bay Women's Economic Development Empowerment, Program: Girl's Camp