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Rays get in Y-M-C-A spirit, award $75,000 in grants to area groups



The Rays Baseball Foundation - with contributions from players, owners, sponsors and fans - awarded $75,000 in grants to 15 non-profit organizations at a Thursday luncheon at the Trop.


Getting in the spirit of the award to the YMCA of the Suncoast are (above, from left to right) team president Matt Silverman, Dan Wheeler, James Shields, Evan Longoria and Kelly Shoppach. The YMCA was represented by Tish Atkins Bryant, Teresa Hibbard and Stephanie Zaragoza. (Photo courtesy of the Rays.)

Here is the official release from the team and the list:

The Rays Baseball Foundation, the official charity of the Tampa Bay Rays, today awarded a total of $75,000 to 15 local nonprofit organizations through the club’s Community Fund Grant.  
“We’re proud of the continued good work of the Rays Baseball Foundation and the impact it continues to have on programs dedicated for the well-being of our area’s youth,” said Rays President Matt Silverman.
The Rays Baseball Foundation is committed to supporting youth and education programs throughout the Tampa Bay community.  Key contributors to the Foundation include Rays owners, players, sponsors and fans.  In 2008-09 the Rays Baseball Foundation proudly invested more than $1.2 million in youth and education programs in the Tampa Bay region through grant programs and special events.  In January, the Foundation donated more than $50,000 to the Haiti Relief Funds of the American Red Cross and Save the Children.  The Rays Baseball Foundation has two main grant programs—the Community Fund Grant and the All-Star Grant—and funds three major programs: Field Renovation, Reading with the Rays and Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI).
All Rays players currently signed to multi-year contracts contribute to the Rays Baseball Foundation and its programs.  Among the players who have contributed to the Foundation are Willy Aybar, Pat Burrell, Carl Crawford, Evan Longoria, Carlos Peña, James Shields, Kelly Shoppach, Dan Wheeler and Ben Zobrist.  Collectively, these players will donate more than $1 million over the length of their contracts.
The following 15 organizations and their corresponding programs will be supported by the Rays 2010 Community Fund Grant:
1. Alpha House of Tampa Teen Book Club
2. Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte County  Project Learn
3. Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast Read to Succeed Program
4. Brookwood 2010 Summer Recreational Activities
5. Clothes to Kids, Inc. Back to School with Confidence 2010
6. Computer Mentors Group, Inc. Youth Computer Training Programs
7. Eckerd Youth Alternatives Success Awards Program
8. Hillsborough Head Start Community Foundation Jonathan’s Toy Lending Library
9. Mt. Zion Human Services, Inc. The 2010 Summer Camp Adventure
10. Pinellas County Urban League Operation SMART
11. Police Athletic League of Tampa, Inc. Youth Athletics
12. R’Club Child Care, Inc. Scholarships for Early Learning Academy
13. The Children’s Home Take Me Out to the Ballgame 
14. The Spring of Tampa Bay, Inc. Spring School
15. YMCA of the Suncoast Rays Swing Into Summer

[Last modified: Saturday, May 29, 2010 12:15am]


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