How Henderson Alvarez’s No-Hitter Lives On In Liberty City

As you will recall, Marlins starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez threw a dramatic no-hitter on Closing Day of 2013 to defeat the Detroit Tigers. The day was unforgettable and memorialized with these pretty cool commemorative baseballs:

Well, it turns out those baseballs can be used for a lot more than just displaying in your trophy case…

Those baseballs got some great use at Marlins Ayudan Partner School Lenora B. Smith Elementary in Liberty City, as students used them in an interactive activity to bring to life the theme of their book club book.

LBS Radical Readers Book Club - Marlins Baseballs

The Book Club leader and Media Specialist, who also works with Marlins Ayudan on our literacy program, sent us a meaningful thank you note:


With meaningful words like that, the impact that Marlins Ayudan has on our youth is tangible. I cannot think of a better use of commemorative baseballs than this. The reality of the impact really came to life when we learned that the students took the message of their book to heart and went on to shine themselves by winning the first round of the Regional Book Battle.

Regional Book Battle 1

Regional Book Battle 2

It’s safe to say the Radical Readers at Lenora B. Smith are demonstrating the spirit of The Girl Who Threw Butterflies and of Henderson Alvarez with their dedication to reading and competing.

We look forward to seeing what these youth will do in the finals! All of the #FishFamily is cheering for you, Radical Readers!

The Amazing Race: Miami to the Keys

The following entry was written early Saturday morning…

So, it’s 1:23am on Saturday morning, and I find myself at Coral Shores High School in the Florida Keys. I am sitting in a 12-passenger van, and I’m supposed to be asleep. But come on! This place is bustling with excitement, enthusiasm and a passion that I can’t quite put into words. “It’s Ragnar, baby!” At least that’s what keeps being shouted into the night!

I, along with my colleague Adrian Mora, am the navigator of Van #2 for the Marlins Ayudan Ragnar Relay Team. What is that, you may ask? Well, it is a 196-mile, 12-member relay race from Miami to Key West.

That’s right… 12 people, on foot, tag teaming it all the way to the Southernmost Point!


Team Marlins Ayudan has embarked on this challenge all in the name of charity. In particular, it is to honor the amazing athletes of Special Olympics Miami-Dade. So far Team Marlins Ayudan has raised over $7,200!

My fellow Blue Shirts humble me daily with their dedication to impacting others’ lives in a positive manner, but this experience has taken my admiration to a whole new level. Our van has only completed one of the three legs, but Van #1 is wrapping their second leg within the hour. Their mental toughness and stamina is inspiring… very reminiscent of the athletes for which they run.

To make a donation to the Special Olympics of Miami-Dade please visit our team’s donation page.



Have A (Healthy) Heart

Students at the Northwest Boys and Girls Club jumped, sprinted and danced their way to good heart health as part of the Compression For Life program implemented by Jeff Urgelles, bullpen catcher for the Miami Marlins. In August 2012, Urgelles was warming up for a road game in Arizona when a game day employee collapsed in cardiac arrest. Having been a firefighter/paramedic for Miami-Dade Ambulance, Urgelles knew how to perform CPR and did so successfully until the paramedics arrived and took over.


Urgelles realized just how important it is to be knowledgeable about CPR. He wanted to teach others how to care for their hearts to avoid scary situations like the one he experienced. Urgelles partnered with the Marlins Foundation and other local agencies to start the Compression for Life Program. The program teaches youth at Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade about heart health and provides CPR and first aid training.


It turns out being heart healthy is a lot more fun and tasty than the kids thought! Students were broken up into three groups. Groups rotated between three stations: exercise, nutrition education, and healthy snacks. They had a great time, especially in the snacking station! Marlins Ayudan provided low-fat yougurt, fruit strips, and hummus with carrots for snacks. The kids surprisingly devoured the hummus!


All in all, it was a successful kickoff. There will be two more events before the program concludes in mid-February during Marlins Ayudan week.


A Gift For The River

Yesterday, Marlins Ayudan had the honor of presenting the Miami River Commission with a $2,500 donation. The Miami River Commission acts as the official coordinating clearinghouse for all public policy and projects related to the Miami River. They ensure that river projects are funded and implemented in a proper and timely manner. Their goal is to improve the river area for all to enjoy.


The check was presented by Ryan McCoy, VP of Sales and Service on behalf of team “Just BeCAUSE.” Last December, all Marlins Ayudan teams participated in the Day of Civic Engagement and Philanthropy, a Marlins Ayudan organizational event promoting Corporate Social Responsibility. Teams competed against each other to see who could make the largest impact on the Broward County community. The winning team won a $2,500 donation to a charity of their choice.

007Team “Just BeCAUSE” chose the Miami River Commission as their beneficiary. “Just BeCAUSE” works closely with Miami River Commission throughout the year completing beautification projects. Just last week they painted a mural with artist Serge Toussaint along South River Drive. They are already planning their next project together which will take place later this month during Marlins Ayudan week.

Lending A Hand To The Homeless

The Blue Shirts are at it again! This time they’re in the kitchen at Miami Rescue Mission Center. This center is where the homeless and needy of Miami-Dade can go for meals, safe shelter and motivation to transform their lives for the better. There are two additional centers in Hollywood and Pompano.

231Marlins Ayudan teams have been volunteering at Miami Rescue Mission Center since 2012. On Wednesday, January 28th, 11 members of “The Voice” covered lunch duties in the center’s cafeteria.

242“The Voice,” led by EXVP of Operations and Events Claude Delorme, were happy and ready to assist. Duties included light food preparation, serving hot food and beverages to residents and employees of the center, and cleaning up. Over 150 meals were served! The residents were all smiles and repeatedly thanked the Blue Shirts for their time and help.

IMG_4690“The Voice” plans on revisiting the Miami Rescue Mission Center in February during Ayudan Week.


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