Wondering where Beyond the Ballpark bloggers have been? Wondering what ICYMI stands for? So many questions, so many answers in this blog entry!
Your beloved bloggers have not forgotten you, in fact we were thinking of you and your reading interests when we set out to have the best month ever, hereby referred to as The Month of Awesome.
So, Beyond the Ballpark blog fans, In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are ten things that made June at Marlins Park The Month of Awesome!
Citrus Cup Softball Classic (June 2nd)
The Marlins Wives took on the Rays Wives in the 4th Citrus Cup Softball Classic. Marlins Wives won 10-9 evening the series at 2-2, and raised over $2,100 for Marlins RBI Softball.
RBI Career Workshop Launch (June 10th)
Marlins RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) is about more than baseball, it’s about character development. This summer we launched a Career Development seminar during which students receive guidance from employees all across the Marlins front office, like President of Baseball Operations, Mike Hill.
Father’s Day (June 15th)
The Miami Marlins and Major League Baseball celebrated Father’s Day by raising awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer with the goal to “Keep Dad in The Game”. Giancarlo celebrated with a blue arm sleeve for awareness.
Fish N Chips (June 18th)
In its annual Casino Party, Fish N’ Chips, the Marlins Foundation and Event Chair Jarrod Saltalamacchia raised money for Marlins RBI.
Camp Boggy Creek Sendoff (June 19th)
In Partnership with UM’s Alex’s Place, the Marlins served as a departure site for campers headed to the Seriously Fun Camp that any child, despite their illness can enjoy.
Buses For Baseball (June 19th)
Through the MLBPA over 50 kids from Overtown Youth Center and Roberto Clemente Park had a once-in-a-lifetime batting practice experience. They all received baseballs and player autographs.
Our Community Salutes (June 20th)
Local High School graduates were officially sworn into the Marines, Navy, and Army at Marlins Park.
Play Sun Smart (June 20th-22nd)
Major League Baseball and the Miami Marlins teamed up to increase skin cancer awareness. Local Boys and Girls Clubers helped deliver sun screen throughout the ballpark.
RBI Baseball Clinic (June 21st)
Marlins RBI league participants were invited to a day of instruction on the Marlins Park field.
RBI Softball Clinic (June 28th)
Marlins RBI Softball ladies received expert instruction in a big league facility as well.
ICYMI – last month was awesome! Here’s to another awesome month in July.
It’s Saturday night at Marlins Park… if you were in your seats at the start of the 6th inning, you were already getting the sense that you may see something really special happen. Something you don’t talk about or even hint at: a perfect game. Crack! A clean base hit breaks up Henderson’s bid for perfection and many in the stands felt like they were almost witness to something special.
My take on Saturday was viewed through a different lens. You see, before Henderson threw the first pitch of the game, I had already witnessed something special. It was the Marlins Foundation Charity Partner Day and representing Special Olympics of Florida was Sabrina Meador, a young girl with Down syndrome. Sabrina was at Marlins Park for more than just a ceremony though; she was escorted to wait in the Marlins home dugout while her favorite player, Jose Fernandez, was about to surprise her with a bouquet of flowers. Jose turns the corner at the top steps from the clubhouse and Sabrina shouts, “JOSE!!!” darting over and embracing him with a great big hug, both smiling from ear to ear.
This was not Sabrina’s first interaction with Jose… on National Down Syndrome Awareness Day, to create awareness and support, we are all asked to wear “funky socks” and show them off. The Marlins had a Spring Training game that day and the guys were ALL IN and excited to sport their polka dot Marlins socks during the game. Jose would go one step further and sent a young girl named Sabrina an autographed cap. She took to social media and her response was priceless (see below).
We’re back in the dugout of Marlins Park and Jose is showing Sabrina around when he informed her that she will be throwing out the first pitch and that he’s going to be the one to catch it. She is beyond excited and nervous at the same time, so Jose suggests that they warm up with a game of catch.
The moment had finally come and I don’t even remember if she threw a strike or not, all I can remember is the look on her face as Jose walked out to the mound to congratulate her in front of the Saturday night crowd at Marlins Park… So while Henderson threw a two-hit shutout gem on his birthday (the game was the day after his birthday), all I could talk about for the rest of the night and the next day at Easter dinner was little Sabrina and the night that she will never forget.
Something really special happened at Marlins Park last Saturday.
The Marlins Foundation was honored to assist Marlins Bullpen Catcher Jeff Urgelles in hosting the second cycle of Compression for Life. In 2013, the Marlins Foundation, in partnership with the American Heart Association of South Florida, developed the Compression for Life program. After Jeff helped to save the life of an Arizona Diamondbacks employee while on the road with the Marlins, the Marlins Foundation honored him with a gift to start his own program geared towards teaching the youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami Dade the importance of hearth health through diet and exercise.
The second cycle of Compression for Life took place at the Boys & Girls Club of Miami Dade – Kendall Campus. Each day of the three day program had a different focus; heart health through nutrition, CPR / AED (Automated External Defibrillators) training and celebrating heart health. On the first day, fitness instruction was provided by Marlins own Strength and Conditioning Coach Ty Hill. The kids worked up a serious sweat going over the 20 minute exercise routines very similar to the ones that Ty facilitates with the Marlins players. Back inside, Jen Llanos shared tidbits about healthy eating, sprinkled in with a Q&A period where participants received Marlins giveaways for giving the best snack choices to eat.
During the second day of the program Jeff was joined by 911 Educational Consultants to instruct the proper CPR techniques and teach the kids how to use safely use an AED.. The next workroom over, Cardiologist Dr. Sizemore joined the kids to share information about why it’s important to stay healthy, sharing large scale models of a heart while the kids enjoyed healthy snacks. At the end of the day’s lesson all 100 kids walked away with their own CPR kits, courtesy of Amerigroup Foundation, so that they may practice CPR skills at home with their families.
The last day of the program was Graduation Day where all of the kids received a certificate for completing Compression for Life. The highlight of the day was a huge celebration party where the kids were joined by Jeff’s special guests, Billy The Marlin, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and Marlins President David Samson. Everyone enjoyed an afternoon of games, bounce houses, healthy snacks and dancing as they celebrated the fact that they are now armed with the tools to be heart healthy.
Special thank you to program sponsors: American Heart Association of South Florida, 911 Educational Consultants, Sergio’s Printing
What drives you on a daily basis? What motivates you to get out of bed and do the things you do? For some of you it may be your religious beliefs – a concept you believe in so strongly you are drawn to conviction. For others it may be a career goal that you set for your future. It may be something as simple as a New Year’s Resolution that drives you to improve. Whatever it may be, we all have something compelling us to act. For organizations such as the Marlins, that’s our Mission.
The Marlins Foundation is committed to improving the lives of our youth through education, the arts and baseball, with a special focus on children with special needs.
Oftentimes mission statements serve as a nice page filler and don’t go very far beyond that. An organization may be founded with certain ideas and dreams about what it should ideally look like, and then once it begins operating it simply operates to survive, carrying out basic functions and not to reach ideal or dream state.
In 2010 Marlins Ayudan was formed to help the Marlins Foundation to reach its ideal state. Marlins Ayudan front-office volunteers serve as drivers, as motivation, and as tools to reach our ideal state. This pushing forward, always toward the ultimate goal, occurs on a daily basis. Last week in particular however, I was moved by how during a normal, December week, just days before people leave for the holidays, Marlins Ayudan stepped up and drove harder than ever toward our goal…
Marlins RBI visits MLB Winter Meetings Baseball Showcase
Career Workshop Series visits University of Miami
Career Workshop Series at Marlins Park covering Finance and Marketing
The Transitional Learning Academy of United Cerebral Palsy of Miami visit Marlins Park
Miami High Special Needs Students take Bluefoot Pirate Tour
Last week solidified to me that Marlins Ayudan is a meaningful driver to help the Marlins Foundation reach its ideal state… improving the lives of our youth through education, the arts and baseball, with a special focus on children with special needs.
Share with us! How do you put your mission into action? What drives you to reach your ideal state?
In January 2013, over 150 South Florida non-profit organizations applied to the Marlins Empowerment Fund, the Marlins Foundation grant program. From the Empowerment Fund application process, the Marlins were honored to announce four non-profits as our 2013 Charity Partners. On top of their $25,000 gift, during the season each Charity Partner enjoyed a day at the ballpark dedicated to raising awareness about their cause and the opportunity for Marlins Ayudan to create but for experiences for our MASPP schools and their organizations youth through player visits and field trips. It was an exciting year filled with lots of wonderful memories on and off the field. Thank you to the 2013 Marlins Charity Partners for joining us in our efforts to better our South Florida community through education, the arts and baseball.
Mission: Breakthrough Miami is an eight-year, tuition-free academic enrichment program that provides motivated middle-school students from underserved communities with the tools they need to achieve their most ambitious goals in life.
Empowerment Fund funded program: The Marlins partnership supported a six week long Summer Institute elective course, titled “Life Lessons through Baseball”. 52 Breakthrough children participated in the “Life Lessons through Baseball” course where they learned to use the elements of baseball to reinforce the major topics covered during the Summer Institute.
Miami Children’s Museum
Mission: Miami Children’s Museum (MCM) is dedicated to enriching the lives of all children by fostering a love of learning and enabling children to realize their highest potential.
Empowerment Fund funded program: Through the Marlins partnership, MCM dedicated one Saturday a month to host Sensory Saturday for families with children that have special needs. Each Sensory Saturday boasted multisensory interactive exhibits, adjusted to a sensory friendly environment with modified lighting, sound adjustments and “cool down” rooms available for children.
Miracle League of Miami Dade
Mission: To create positive life experiences for children with special needs and their families through baseball.
Empowerment Fund funded program: Since the opening of Marlins Park in 2012, the Marlins have partnered with the Miracle League of Miami Dade in raising funds to build a special rubber turfed field for children of all disabilities to be able to play and enjoy the game of baseball safely. Once completed, over 68,000 disabled children throughout Miami-Dade County will benefit from this new site.
Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Mission: To provide vision rehabilitation and eye health services that promote independence, to collaborate with and education professionals, and to conduct research in relation fields.
Empowerment Fund funded program: Through the Marlins partnership, Miami Lighthouse provided free eye examinations and glasses to underserved children in South Florida. Eligible children received vouchers to see their community optometrist free of charge or a mobile eye care clinic would visit select schools in Miami Dade and Broward Counties. With the Marlins’ partnership, this program is projected to reach 7,500 children from low-income households throughout South Florida.