On Thursday, September 13th, JAYS CARE FOUNDATION, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club will be crossing the country to host its first-ever Charity Home Run Derby at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, BC. Five teams of four participants have fundraised all summer long, with the goal of raising $100,000 to support Jays Care’s commitment to the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC.
The Foundation has invested a $250,000 Field of Dreams grant in the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC’s Langley chapter to support the installation of a stand-alone Jays Care Community Clubhouse on the grounds of Old Yale Road Elementary School. This facility will support a membership of 250 children and youth, primarily from low-income families that are new immigrants to Canada or of First Nations descent. Jays Care has also supported the Club’s Surrey chapter with a $50,000 grant to assist in the completion of a Clubhouse for its after-school program.
“As proud supporters of baseball across Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays are thrilled to be contributing to the great baseball culture in BC,” said Danielle Bedasse, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. “And with the generosity and support of our Charity Home Run Derby chairman, Glenn Kirkpatrick, we have been able to extend our community efforts to British Columbia through capital investments in safe, youth spaces and baseball programming for under-served communities.”
The Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League program found roots in BC with year-round programming that teaches baseball skills and the importance of teamwork, co-operation and partnership, to children attending the Boys & Girls Club of Williams Lake District and the 12 chapters of the Boys & Girls Club of South Coast BC, including: Fraserview (South Vancouver), Grandview, Kimount and Kivan (East Vancouver), Hillside (North Delta), Langley, Norvan (North Vancouver), North Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Wintemute (Ladner) and Winskill (Tsawwassen). The Clubs each received baseball equipment, hats, t-shirts, coaching manuals and funding from Jays Care when the programs were launched.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS alumni Joe Carter, Jesse Barfield, Kelly Gruber, Homer Bush and Lloyd Moseby will be on hand at the Charity Home Run Derby to offer batting advice and cheer on the participants. Sportsnet West’s Craig MacEwan will be hosting the event. The Derby runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by an evening cocktail reception. The best time for media to access the alumni is 11:15 – 11:45 a.m. at Nat Bailey Stadium.
The Charity Home Run Derby in Vancouver was made possible through the generous contributions of the following Jays Care Foundation supporters: The Kirkpatrick family, Cap-It International, Gryphon Graphics, istorage.com, Jeff Mooney, Rawlings, Sportsnet, Super Soil, TD Bank, Tri T Wall & Ceiling, and Charity Home Run Derby partner, the Vancouver Canadians.
About Jays Care Foundation
Since 1992, Jays Care has created opportunities for children and youth in need by providing access to programs that promote regular physical activity, encourage the pursuit of higher education and impart fundamental life skills. The foundation has made possible the building of dedicated, accessible, safe youth spaces for recreational programming, inspiring engagement through the sport of baseball. In 2011 alone, Jays Care contributed more than $1.4 million to initiatives and facilities across Ontario and beyond, and provided 17,000 kids access to vital programs and services through Field of Dreams funding, Grand Slam Grants, the Home Run Scholars program and Rookie League camps. For more information, visit bluejays.com/jayscare and follow Jays Care on Twitter: @jayscare.