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All-Star events giving back to community

All-Star events giving back to community

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ANAHEIM -- At Pioneer Park, a little more than three miles from Angel Stadium, a youth baseball and softball field will be reconstructed and a new Miracle League Field, which will allow special needs children to play baseball, will rise there, too.

In Santa Ana, just another few miles away, a home will be refurbished and transformed into temporary housing for homeless and at-risk veterans. Then this fall, all around Orange County, a new Angels Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities Program will launch and serve youth from 16 local Boys & Girls Club chapters.

It's all in part thanks to the more than $5 million that Major League Baseball and the Angels will donate to a variety of local and national charities following the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, featuring the State Farm Home Run Derby, at Angel Stadium on July 12.

It's the largest sum the All-Star Summer events have raised to date, and much of it will be distributed to local charities.

"Commissioner [Bud] Selig and owners like Arte Moreno truly do embrace the idea that baseball is a social institution and part of the social fabric," MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy said Tuesday at Angel Stadium. "It's important to give back to the community and I'm very proud."

Charities, residents and businesses will benefit alike from this year's 81st All-Star Game, which will bring in more than $85 million of additional spending to the greater Anaheim economy.

"This is going to be a phenomenal event, and they are bringing more than a great game, a great week, they are bringing investments in this community," Anaheim city manager Tom Wood said. "I want to thank the Angels and MLB for an opportunity to do what we do best: host millions."

The scope of the charitable efforts born out of this year's All-Star events is broad, and includes the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Make-A-Wish and the Boys & Girls Club.

Some of the specific initiatives and efforts:

• Twenty-five eighth graders will receive college scholarships as part of the Angels Scholars program, created in 2006 for Orange County public middle-school students who are enrolled in the college preparatory program AVID and who display academic excellence and financial need.

• Programs to break the generational cycle of abused children and help children thrive at the Orangewood Children's Home, a refuge for abused, neglected and abandon children in Orange County.

• At the Santa Ana Boys & Girls Club, fields will be transformed to make way for the Angels RBI program, and an interactive garden, where children can learn about greening efforts, will be built.

• Sports training and competition for 14,000 Orange County children and adults with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Southern California.

• Drug development efforts to impact adults and children living with Cystic Fibrosis through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Patient Assistance Foundation.

• An increase in the number of children served by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, whose mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one mentoring relationships.

Fans can help raise additional support by participating in the All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run, presented by Nike, which goes through Angel Stadium on July 11. All net proceeds will go to cancer research, and registration can be found at allstargame.com.

Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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