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Blue Jays unveil a Field of Dreams for Smythe-Rockcliffe neighbourhood

On Thursday, June 6th at 5:00 p.m., TORONTO BLUE JAYS alumnus Duane Ward, Sportsnet's Buck Martinez, Blue Jays staff, the City of Toronto and York Baseball Association will unveil the newly-refurbished main diamond at Smythe Park in Toronto.

The Toronto Blue Jays, through JAYS CARE FOUNDATION, have invested $175,000 in the City of Toronto for the refurbishment - an undertaking that will benefit more than 350 York Baseball Association participants this season.

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The Jays Care Community Crew, made up of 50 volunteers from the Toronto Blue Jays and Rogers Centre staff, will be following up with a field cleanup next week. The Community Crew will sand and paint rusty bleachers, edge the diamond, and tamp the pitcher's mound. This is the first of many Community Crew field cleanups slated for the 2013 season.

To kick off this community celebration, the Jays Care Foundation Young Professionals Committee will host a barbeque for all the children and families in attendance. Following the presentation, 75 youth from the local community - including 15 Rookie Leaguers - will take part in a free Blue Jays Baseball Academy Instructional Clinic. The clinic will be led by Toronto Blue Jays staff and Duane Ward.

This park is one of the primary locations for the Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League in Toronto. Rookie League is a safe and fun summer program for children living in under-resourced communities across Canada. Through a partnership with Toronto Community Housing and Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada, this year-round program is offered at no cost to participants and their families. Rookie League is celebrating its 25th season and will impact 5,000 children and youth.

WHEN:         

  • Thursday, June 6, 2013
  • Event will start at 5:00 p.m.

WHAT:

  • Community barbeque hosted by the Jays Care Foundation Young Professionals Committee
  • Official opening of the newly-refurbished Smythe Park baseball diamond
  • Opening remarks and speeches
  • Photo opportunity and media availability
  • 75 youth participate in Blue Jays Baseball Academy Instructional Clinic

WHO:            

  • Buck Martinez, Play by Play Announcer, Blue Jays Baseball on Sportsnet & Emcee
  • Duane Ward, Toronto Blue Jays alumnus
  • John Macintyre, Jays Care Foundation Board of Directors    
  • Councillor Frances Nunziata, Ward 11 York South-Weston
  • Pete Zakkak, Vice President Keelesdale, York Baseball Association

WHERE:       

  • Smythe Park - Main Diamond
  • 177 Scarlet Road (Jane/Alliance), Toronto, ON

About Jays Care Foundation

The Toronto Blue Jays, 2012 recipient of the MLB Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, believe every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of the challenges they face. Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Blue Jays, sets kids on a lifelong track to success by investing in charitable, community and baseball programs and facilities that focus on helping kids in need get active, excel academically and lead healthy lives. To date, Jays Care has invested more than $7.5 million in Canada's children and communities.

For more information, visit www.bluejays.com/jayscare, follow @JaysCare on Twitter, 'like' Jays Care on Facebook, or call 416-341-1456.

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