Results tagged ‘ Community Outreach ’
On August 14, 1945, President Truman announced the end of World War II. To commemorate this anniversary, the United States Congress declared that a National “Spirit of ’45 Day” be observed on the second Sunday in August.
Earlier today at Marlins Park, we celebrated the Spirit of ’45 by paying tribute to all of the remarkable citizens who bravely served our country in that time of peril, by honoring the remembrance of our soldiers and loved ones who served, survived and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the second World War.
During a special pregame ceremony, twelve WWII veterans were honored. Each veteran received a unique commemorative gift from the Marlins – a container of sand from Iwo Jima…interestingly enough, two of the veterans honored actually were at Iwo Jima!
Undoubtedly, a day like today makes me think of my two grandfathers, both who served during WWII. My Grandpa Nystrom served in the Air Force, while my Grandpa Smith served in the Army. I never had the opportunity to know either of them, but I have heard many stories and certainly feel very proud of them to know that their service helped ensure the freedom I enjoy today.
A huge thanks to all members of our greatest generation, and as always thank you to those who have served and continue to serve the United States of America!
Sunday, July 29, is once again Bark at the Park!
As a part of the festivities, Buehrle’s Buddies will be collecting pet supplies at the 1st base entrance.
Items such as food, beds, blankets, and toys will be colected and donated to the Broward County Humane Society.
The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays (the other being Thanksgiving). I am proud to be an American, and I am eternally grateful to all those who serve our country. Our troops and their families give so much, sometimes the ultimate sacrifice, to ensure our freedom. I’ve often wondered what is the best way to show my appreciation.
The Fish are on the road in Pittsburgh on the 4th, so July 1st was Military Appreciation Day at Marlins Park. Prior to the game, Marlins personnel Giancarlo Stanton, Heath Bell, Mike Dunn, Steve Cishek and Ozzie Guillen spent time signing baseballs and posing for photos with wounded warriors from the Miami VA and the Wounded Warrior Project. One of the warriors, Roberto Cruz, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and then enjoyed the game with all of the other warriors in a suite compliments of the Miami Dade Police Department and POAT. We have partnered with the VA and WWP on this event for the warriors for many years, and it is always a great expereice for all those involved.
This year, being the inaugural year at Marlins Park, we wanted to add a new fan element to our Military Appreciation Day. So, we thought we would bring everyone together in one huge thank you…a salute FROM our fans TO our troops! In partnership with our friend Greg Zinone, Founder of Pro vs. GI Joe, we were able to link live with the USO Center in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The troops were shown live on MarlinsVision, and all of the Marlins fans (and yes…Phillies fans, too) stood up, cheered and threw out a salute to the troops. The energy in the ballpark was amazing…gave me goose bumps!
Our players and front office staff also signed a banner that will be sent to the same USO Center in Kandahar as a permanent symbol of our unwavering support to all of the men and women in uniform. Prior to the game on Saturday, the banner was on display and fans were encouraged to join in and show their support by signing a card. Many fans had family or friends currently deployed, some had sons and daughters that had just returned home, and others were Viet Nam Veterans. Many parents took the time to explain to their children the importance of what they were doing as they helped them write a note to our soldiers. It was a heartwarming experience to say the least. All of the cards will be sent to the USO Center in Kandahar along with the banner.
As I watch the fireworks on Wednesday night and reflect on how grateful I am to live in the greatest country in the world, I will also ponder the next way to show my gratitude to those that protect and fight for me.
On Saturday, June 23rd, The Marlins attended the Second Annual Overtown Rhythm and Arts Festival, sponsored by Overtown Rhythm and Art Inc. and the Miami Foundation. The festival aims to celebrate the great history of one of Miami’s earliest black communities and rich music district. Living in Broward County, I really had no prior knowledge of Overtown’s heart throbbing story until I started working for the Marlins. The surface level knowledge that is often associated with this Miami community doesn’t do Overtown’s historical background justice. This now seemingly ghost town had a vibrant past and what I hope to be…an incredible future.
Before Gilbert and I joined marketing at the Overtown Rhythm and Arts Festival, I decided to do a background investigation.
I want to share with you some of this community’s story:
In 1896 Overtown was designated as a “colored” neighborhood after the incorporation of Miami which largely characterized its culture and music basis. Up until the 1940s and 1950s, Miami was a hub for music, especially in Miami’s “Little Broadway”, Overtown. The once music filled streets of Overtown was compared to today’s South Beach. ”Miami was a hotbed, a flourishing mecca of music,” says jazz saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, 67, who lived in Overtown in the early 1960s before going on to become musical director for James Brown. “It was live and vital. It was vigorous.”
Famous musicians such as Sam and Dave, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Nat King Cole and Aretha Franklin, frequently graced the streets of Overtown with their presence. Imagining the musical legends that once roamed the streets of Overtown make me wish I could have been there in its jazz and blues glory days. This story takes an unfortunate turn from “riches to rags.” In the 1960s, two highways were built directly through this flourishing city. “The highways destroyed hundreds of properties and displaced most of the 40,000 people who once lived there, leaving only about 9,000 today.” (http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/02/01/882396/bygone-days-the-sweet-music-of.html#storylink=cpy).
As documented by one of our favorite charitable organizations in Overtown, Touching Miami with Love, the communities’ statistics look bleak.
-55% of the residents of Overtown live in poverty
-The median household income is $11,314
- There are only 41 businesses
-The vacant space under the elevated expressways has become a wasteland
-32% of the community’s population lives in either public housing or government subsidized housing
-The homeownership rate is 3% compared to the national average of 60%
Despite the facts, Overtowns’ revitalization looks bright with the help of incredible organizations such: “the Overtown Advisory Board, the Overtown Empowerment Zone Assembly, the City of Miami and CRA, Metro-Dade County, Dade County Public Schools, the State of Florida, federal grants, St. John Baptist Church’s CDC, Greater Bethel AME Church’s CDC, the Knight Foundation, the LeRoy Collins Center, Greater Miami LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation), the Trust for Public Land,” the Miami Foundation, and the Miami Marlins. (http://www.theblackarchives.org/?page_id=2177).
It’s charitable organizations like these that give me hope for Overtowns’ future. As members of the community it is our duty to make a commitment to the betterment of our home. I can’t say that without working for the Marlins Foundation that I would know so much about our south Florida community. The Foundation has given me a priceless learning opportunity. I’m falling in love with my hometown more than ever before. I hope you are too!
The Black Archives
Jenkins Fields, Dorothy. “Overtown: Reclaiming a Sense of Place.” Â» The Black Archives. The Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida Inc, n.d. Web. 01 July 2012. <http://www.theblackarchives.org/?page_id=2177>.
The Miami Herald
Levin, Jordan. “Jordan Levin.” The Miami Herald. The Miami Herald, 01 Feb. 2009. Web. 01 July 2012. <http://www.miamiherald.com/2009/02/01/882396/bygone-days-the-sweet-music-of.html>.
Touching Miami with Love
“Overtown.” Touching Miami with Love. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2012.
Earlier today I was a t Shake-A-Leg Miami with folks from Broward Navy Days. Broward Navy Days organizes the Annual Fleet Week at Port Everglades and makes sure all of the men and women who serve our country enjoy a good time while they are in port. We are looking forward to working together during Fleet Week 2013, but today was about introducing them to our charity partner, Shake-A-Leg Miami.
We had a wonderful time learning about what we all can bring to the table, and I am excited to get working on it! Stayed tuned for a Veterans Day event!
The afternoon was capped off meeting with veterans from the VA Medical Center…they had just returned from a day of fishing on Biscayne Bay. These Veterans fishing outings generally take place twice a month, and sometimes in lieu of fishing, they opt for kayaking or sailing. Regardless of the activity, the veterans all enjoyed their day at Shake, and many will be coing out to a Marlins game over the weekend!