Results tagged ‘ marlins ayudan ’

A Decade In The Making

Content contributed by Randy Rodriguez, Head Baseball Coach at Miami Carol City High School.

Coach Randy Rodriguez may not be a household name in the South Florida high school baseball scene. His team, the Carol City Chiefs,  is not a perennial state championship contender. The program is also not a pipeline to major Division I college programs. Their home games are not littered with scouts holding radar guns and clipboards. In fact, at Miami Carol City High School there isn’t even a baseball field to host practices or home games.

James Falmer and Ayeo Randolph of Miami Carol City High School.

James Falmer and Ayeo Randolph of Miami Carol City High School.

In 2015, what the Carol City Chiefs baseball team did have was two returning players for the spring season: Ayeo Randolph and James Falmer. Although Ayeo, a 5’5″ 140lb outfielder, had finished the 2014 season hitless, he was committed to reinventing his swing and pursuing his dream of playing college baseball. While Ayeo’s mother, an All-Conference MEAC softball player at Florida A&M University, was the first person to teach him the game, the baton was soon passed to Coach Randy to help Ayeo take his game to the next level. By the end of last spring, Ayeo’s game had improved immensely and he motivated his teammates to join him in participating in the Marlins Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities (RBI) summer program and work towards building something special in Miami Gardens. They were able to field a team led by Coach Randy and while the team finished the RBI Season 0-10, they never wavered in their commitment to show up to every game, play hard, and focus on getting better every inning of every game.

James Falmer was one of those players who was motivated to continue playing over the summer. Falmer may not have had the opportunity to participate in the Marlins RBI program had it not been for Ayeo’s persistence. Despite being a junior at Carol City, 2015  was James’ first year playing baseball and he started the spring season on the JV Team. He would ride his bike to school, practice at an offsite baseball training facility in Miami Gardens, and then travel back home on a daily basis. James’ swing quickly developed, leading to an early promotion to the Varsity Team where he would finish the season as the team’s batting champion, hitting .294. In addition to the on-field success, James spent late nights at the baseball facility completing his homework where he was able to access the Internet. Despite these obstacles, James dreams of one day earning his degree in sports administration and working for a professional sports franchise.

Ayeo Randolph representing Marlins RBI.

Ayeo Randolph representing Marlins RBI.

On January 30, 2016, Ayeobele “Ayeo” Randolph and James Falmer will sign letters of intent to play baseball at Morris College, becoming the first Carol City High School baseball players to do so in 10 years. Congratulations to Ayeo, James and Coach Randy!

Marlins Ayudan Day of Service and Philanthropy Recap

Thursday, November 19th was South Florida’s biggest annual giving event: Give Miami Day, a 24-hour philanthropic give-a-thon that supports local nonprofit organizations. It was also the 6th annual Marlins Ayudan Day of Service and Philanthropy.

1 2Figure 1: Give Miami Day headquarters located in the Press Conference Room at Marlins Park

This is no coincidence. For the past 2 years, Marlins Park has been Miami Foundation’s Give Miami Day headquarters. On this special day of giving, Marlins Ayudan partners with nine different organizations, all of which are Give Miami Day non-profits. The idea is to leverage this partnership to raise more awareness and funds for selected organizations while performing impactful service projects in the community for all to enjoy.



Figure 2: Marlins Ayudan Blue Shirts supporting Give Miami Day

This is how the Marlins Ayudan Day of Service and Philanthropy works: each of the nine partner organizations represents a team or service squad. Each squad is named in honor of one of Jackie Robinson’s Nine Values. These values helped guide Jackie as he overcame a multitude of obstacles on his journey to breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball.



Figure 3: Marlins Ayudan Blue Shirts display Jackie Robinson’s Nine Values: Commitment, Determination, Teamwork, Integrity, Excellence, Persistence, Citizenship, Justice, and Courage

Marlins Ayudan Blue Shirts select which organization they’d like to champion. Once teams are formed, they carry out two missions: (1) to work closely with their partner organization to design and implement a philanthropic plan to execute on Give Miami Day, and (2) to participate in a service project with partner organization led by a HandsOn Miami project leader.



Figure 4: Marlins Ayudan leadership presenting Darrill Gaschler of HandsOn Miami, the official 2015-2016 service partner of Marlins Ayudan, with a $10,000 donation



Figure 5: Team Teamwork executing their philanthropic plan

The nine benefiting non-profit partners this year were HandsOn Miami, Million Trees Miami, Special Olympics of Miami-Dade County, Up2Us Sports, Young At Art Museum, Humane Society of Greater Miami, Miami Rescue Mission, Read to Learn, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.



Figure 6: Team Justice at Miami Rescue Mission


Figure 7: Team Determination at Kensington Park Elementary, a Marlins Ayudan partner school, with Up2Us Sports


Teams carried out various types of service projects throughout Miami-Dade which included: a mural painting at Pepper Park, a meal packing with Miami Meals of Hope at Miami Senior High, invasive plant species removal at Greynolds Park, beautification at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, fun fitness and healthy eating with Special Olympics athletes at the Marian Center, “Play Ball” field day at Kensington Park Elementary, animal socialization at the Humane Society of Greater Miami, meal serving and holiday decorating at Miami Rescue Mission, and book sorting and shelving at the Miami Book Fair.


Figure 8: Team Excellence at Pepper Park, a Marlins RBI partner park, with Young At Art



Figure 9: Team Teamwork at Miami Senior High, a Marlins Ayudan partner school, with “littles” of Big Brothers Big Sisters 



Figure 10: Team Commitment at Greynolds Park with Million Trees Miami



Figure 11: Team Commitment at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens with HandsOn Miami



Figure 12: Team Courage at the Marian Center with Special Olympics of Miami-Dade County



Figure 13: Team Determination at Kensington Park Elementary, a Marlins Ayudan partner school, with Up2Us Sports



Figure 14: Team Integrity at the Humane Society of Greater Miami



Figure 15: Team Justice at Miami Rescue Mission



Figure 16: Team Persistence at Miami Book Fair with Read to Learn


Marlins Ayudan teams contributed to over $133,000 of the $184,148 collectively raised by all partner non-profit organizations. Team Justice raised the most funds for their partner, Miami Rescue Mission, a whopping $92,479! Overall, Give Miami Day collected more than $7.1 million dollars for over 600 local non-profit organizations. That’s what I call impact!

For more action from the Marlins Ayudan Day of Service and Philanthropy, scroll down:






All-Star Smiles

I’ve witnessed Giancarlo Stanton do some incredible things during his time with the Miami Marlins, but his most impressive display took place a few days ago. It wasn’t a 500-foot home run or a diving catch on the warning track, and it didn’t make SportsCenter’s top plays.

Earlier this month, Big G changed the lives of over 60 kids who had been pre-screened at Lenora B. Smith Elementary and identified as needing intense dental work. Giancarlo spent time with every single child who sat in one of the chairs at Spodak Dental from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.


Whether it was a little girl who was scared or a young man who was recovering from having his teeth extracted, Giancarlo was there with almost a superhero-like presence to make them feel better.


At the end of the day, $50,000 worth of dental care was provided to children who, in some cases, had never seen the inside of a dentist’s office. It was most unbelievable to hear some kids say it was the best day ever; a trip to the dentist was the best day in some of these kids’ lives.


Thank you, Giancarlo, for having Marlins Ayudan join you in making a difference this offseason.


A Tribute to Those Who Serve Our Country

It’s been almost a month since we hosted nearly 30 World War II veterans for the Spirit of ‘45, an annual, nation-wide initiative to preserve the legacy of the “Greatest Generation.” The mission of Spirit of ‘45 is to inspire Americans to come together to meet historic challenges of our era through examples of personal courage, shared sacrifice, “can-do” attitude and service to community demonstrated by the men and woman of the WWII era.

I had the honor of interviewing five World War II veterans for this special occasion: Julian M. Syphax, Col. S. Buddy Harris, Lt. Col. Leo Gray, Gilbert Neufeld, and Morton Wiener. With 9/11 having just passed, I thought I’d share snip bits from these heroes interviews in the spirit of paying tribute to all men and woman who serve of country, from military personnel to first responders. Enjoy!


5 Days, 5 Service Projects, A Whole Lot of Giving Back

Marlins Ayudan never stops giving back to the community, and last week was no exception! Blue Shirts completed five service projects; that’s one for every day of the work week!

To get in the spirit of the new school year, Blue Shirts returned early to Coral Way K – 8 last Monday to help beautify the school for Opening Day. 21 Blue Shirts from Marlins Ayudan teams Ana’s Heroes, Kickin’ Asphalt, and Habitat for Winning planted bushes, painted offices, loaded furniture into classrooms and pressure washed exterior walls and sidewalks.


With all that manpower, Marlins Ayudan was able to save custodians two weeks worth of work! That’s 80 hours they can now devote to Principal Dovale’s other needs.


On Tuesday, the Marlins 2015 MVP (Most Valuable Professionals) Intern Class participated in their very own, interns-only Ayudan event. 34 interns visited Monkey Jungle to assist with the removal of air potato vines, an invasive species, from their Amazonian rainforest preserve. The air potato is considered an injurious weed because of its tendency to grow rather tenaciously, preventing native plants from reaching sunlight.


Interns received special access into the preserved forest. As soon as they entered the canopy, they were bombarded by squirrel monkeys whose only interest was the possibility of food. Once they realized there wasn’t any, they quickly retreated back to the canopy above. Interns removed air potato vines for an hour as they listened to the cries of howler monkeys and exotic birds.



Monkey Jungle was so generous. They provided lunch and snacks for the interns and gave each one of them two boxes of raisins to feed the monkeys. Everyone had a great time and can’t wait for the next intern event in October.


Wednesday consisted of two events: refreshing Citrus Grove Elementary’ s garden in the morning and distributing school supplies to local families in the evening.

Team Pulse visited Citrus Grove Elementary earlier this year, in March, and completely revived the school’s vegetable and spice garden, preparing it to become an outdoor classroom for 5th grade science students. This time around, Pulse pulled weeds and laid new mulch to beautify the garden for the start of a new school year.



On Wednesday evening, 21 Blue Shirts helped distribute school supplies to needy families on the East Plaza of Marlins Park. Our park served as the official launch for Kiwanis of Little Havana’s annual Back to School Distribution. This week, Kiwanis will visit eight local schools to distribute school supplies, three of which are Marlins Ayudan partner schools.


Marlins Foundation has partnered with Kiwanis for the last four years. Our support has allowed the organization to increase the number of families it serves. Marlins Foundation co-sponsored the Back to School Program with a $20,000 gift! By the end of the week, 8,000 book bags filled with school supplies will have been distributed.


Ayudan team C’mon Blue visited the Fisher House on Friday to prepare a Mexican meal for veterans’ families. The menu included Mexican lasagna and rice, homemade refried beans, tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and tres leches for dessert. This week, Ayudan champions The Voice will visit the Fisher House. Let’s see if their cooking skills are as good as their reputation!


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