Today, JAYS CARE FOUNDATION, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club, joined the MLSE Team Up Foundation, the charitable arm of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, in unveiling the newly-renovated multi-sport gymnasium at Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC).
In 2011, Jays Care Foundation and the MLSE Team Up Foundation each made financial commitments to CYC's gymnasium revitalization project, an undertaking that will benefit more than 2,000 participants. CYC provides children and youth in the St. James Town, Regent Park and Cabbagetown communities with programs and services that offer positive opportunities through sport and recreation, while encouraging ongoing education.
Jays Care provided a Field of Dreams capital grant to fund the installation of a new gymnasium roof, ceiling, electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures and pipes, insulation and paint. The MLSE Team Up Foundation funded the installation of a new gymnasium floor, including the removal and replacement of competition class court flooring, installation of backboards, Plexiglas and wall padding.
"Every child should have access to physical activity and have opportunities in organized sport, regardless of life circumstance," said Danielle Bedasse, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. "Investing in Toronto's under-resourced neighbourhoods is a major focus of Jays Care and we're excited to join Team Up in making an impact on the health and well-being of youth in the Cabbagetown community."
After the grand opening of the gymnasium, 40 youth from local high schools were led by Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors representatives in a baseball and basketball skill-development session. Jays Care donated baseballs and gloves, and the MLSE Team Up Foundation provided basketballs to supplement the CYC's sports equipment inventory.
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.
About Team Up Foundation
The MLSE Team Up Foundation believes all kids should have access to sport and the opportunity to develop lasting dreams on the playing field. With the support of all four MLSE teams - the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Marlies - the Foundation funds the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and programs that support kids through sports and recreation. Since launching in December 2009, the MLSE Team Up Foundation has invested more than $6.5 million into our community. Visit mlseteamupfoundation.org, or follow @TeamUpFdn.
About Cabbagetown Youth Centre
The Cabbagetown Youth Centre (CYC) was founded in 1972 as the Cabbagetown Boxing Club to provide at-risk youth with positive alternatives through sport and recreation, while encouraging ongoing education. Over the past 39 years, the CYC has expanded to meet the growing needs of the community to provide a complete range of recreational, social and educational & skill development programs for ages ranging from newborns to seniors, while maintaining a specific focus on at-risk children and youth. CYC's mandate is to provide barrier-free access to a full range of programs otherwise not available to some of the most marginalized and high-need children, youth and families through the support and creation of sustainable programming to respond to gaps in services and combat risk factors. As a result, over the years the CYC has expanded from its original site at 2 Lancaster Avenue by establishing three satellite sites in the heart of St. James Town, one of North America's most densely populated and underserviced communities. CYC also operates programs at Rose Avenue Public School and Winchester Public School.