Results tagged ‘ marlins ayudan ’
Yesterday, I had the privilege of meeting Global Community Engagement (GCE) at Florida International University committee member, Mariana Orcillez. GCE has been working with disadvantaged children in Santiago, Dominican Republic since 2000, providing clothes and educational programs to those who would otherwise not have that opportunity.
Mariana reached out to the Marlins in need of baseball equipment for the kids of Santiago aging from six to 17. When I learned about her philanthropic efforts, I thought to myself, “This is my first opportunity with the Marlins to do something great and serve those who truly need the help through baseball.” I couldn’t just meet expectations; I had to go the extra mile for these kids.
I got together 15 baseball bats for kids of all ages, a box full of Marcell Ozuna shirts, 30 pairs of pants and baseball socks. When Mariana saw what she was taking with her to the Dominican Republic, she leaped and shouted, “Thank you! Thank you! You don’t know how much this means to these kids!”
But what Mariana doesn’t know is how much this experience means to me.
As winter begins to melt into spring — or at least that’s what I hear from people outside of Miami — I find myself anxiously waiting for the start of Spring Training and this year’s baseball season.
Waiting… it’s something nobody really likes to do. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store or in traffic on the way home, nobody likes to wait.
Well, yesterday I met someone who is waiting. They are waiting for something far more important than what you or I wait for.
Three year old Asbel is waiting for a new heart.
Yesterday, Billy The Marlin and I walked through the hospital doors and made our way to a room filled with family and friends surrounding this little boy from Panama. He could not have appeared to be happier, wearing his Marlins hat and a smile that could brighten any hospital room.
He sat up and began to go through the gifts that Billy had brought him. He shook his bobble heads, threw his new Marlins baseball, put on his “Super Billy” cape, and upon finding a canvas painting of Marlins Park, he let everyone know, “I want to go there!”
After a few pictures with Billy, countless high fives, and a “gracias and thank you” from this polite little boy, we left the hospital keeping Asbel in our thoughts.
So, the next time you find yourself growing frustrated as you wait, try to be like Asbel and do it with a smile. Remember, there are people out there smiling while waiting for far more important things that there is no guarantee will ever arrive.
We’re all pulling for you, Asbel, and hope that your wait is almost over.
At the Fisher House in Miami, veterans’ families are treated as just that, family. Located next to the VA Medical Center, the Fisher House serves as a sanctuary or “comfort home” to military and veterans’ families, at no cost, while a loved one is receiving treatment.
In addition to complimentary boarding, the Fisher House also provides freshly prepared meals for guests. Nearly anyone who has had a loved one hospitalized for longer than a day knows how exhausting it can be. After sitting in a cold, stuffy, cramped room for hours, what could be more appealing than a fresh hot plate?
That’s where the Blue Shirts come in! Marlins Ayudan Team Kickin’ Asphalt were Fisher House chefs for the afternoon, preparing a potluck to satisfy any pallet. As soon as they arrived they began mixing, measuring, boiling, and baking.
The result was a buffet that included rolls, salad, green beans, carrots, rice, corn casserole, mac and cheese, and baked chicken. For dessert, Kickin’ Asphalt prepared cakes and cookies with coffee and lemonade to drink.
Preparation took a total of two hours. They didn’t get to serve the guests and get their reactions to the meal, but satisfaction was guaranteed.
Baked BBQ chicken beats cafeteria meatloaf any day!
Today was an amazing….
Today was a special day at Marlins Park -and that’s putting it lightly. The moments that made up today impacted everyone involved.
Today was so great because Marlins Foundation Charity Partner, Special Olympics of Florida, brought its skills clinic to Marlins Park. Athletes of all ages – eight to adult – showcased their skills on the field at Marlins Park. That’s right – they showcased their skills. As Marlins Ayudan volunteers that spent the morning working with the athletes, we were told early on that today we would learn a lot more about the athletes’ abilities than their disabilities. That’s exactly what happened.
The standout moment of the day for me began when I went over to speak to some 4th graders from Kensington Park Elementary. They were all so eager to talk to me about Marlins Park, about their day, about their favorite sports, and so on, and so forth. One boy in particular, Joshua, had a lot of questions about Marlins Park. I spoke with him for a long time until it was time to start the skills assessment. I told him I’d see him when see got to my station.
A few hours later when I finally welcomed Kensington Park Elementary to the [Major League!] dugout to get ready for base running, Joshua immediately stated with fire,
“Coach! I’ve been looking for you all day! I have so much more to talk to you about”.
His statement blew me away. First of all, I was honored. I felt like after knowing him for a mere half hour that I was one of his role models, like a mentor or older sibling, whose time was all that mattered to him. Second of all, he really did have so much more to ask about his surroundings. Joshua was in a never-ending pursuit of knowledge.
In addition to Joshua’s blossoming curiosity a few of the inspiring abilities I noticed in the athletes today were:
Chivalry amongst peers,
Rockin dance moves,
Knack for following directions,
Tolerance for others’ beliefs…
Oh, and of course:
Coming to work this morning I’m not sure the Marlins front office knew what to expect for a day working with Special Olympics athletes, but the early advice we received most definitely proved true – We would learn more about their abilities than their disabilities.
Every baseball season there are two holidays that I look forward to celebrating with my colleagues and our fans. The first, Opening Day at Marlins Park. You can literally feel the energy surging through you in anticipation for an awesome season to come. The second, Jackie Robinson Day. Every year Jackie Robinson’s legacy is memorialized by Major League Baseball on April 15, which marks the anniversary of when the Hall of Famer broke baseball’s color barrier with his first major league game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. During this day we are reminded that baseball is more than just a game, it serves as a common bond for all people, regardless of race. One man, through his perseverance, heart and values trail-blazed history for many other minority players to enjoy the game of baseball. Reliving history through video clips, photos and presentations on this MLB holiday makes you reflect on how far we have come and how you can make a difference just by standing up for what is right.
The Marlins saluted Jackie Robinson’s heroism and legacy with Marlins President of Baseball Operations, Michael Hill, Marlins Senior Vice President and Legal Council, Derek Jackson, and Marlins Vice President and Executive Director of the Marlins Foundation, Alfredo Mesa, presenting a check for $4,200 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The check was accepted by Christina Gordon, current Jackie Robinson Scholar attending the University of Miami, Carol Guerrero, Jackie Robinson Scholar Alumni, and Curtis Tearte, Jackie Robinson Foundation Committee Member. During a special pre-game presentation the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project boys presented their favorite Jackie Robinson core value: COURAGE, DETERMINATION, TEAMWORK, PERSISTENCE, INTEGRITY, CITIZENSHIP, JUSTICE, COMMITMENT AND EXCELLENCE. These words were values that Jackie Robinson lived by. These values not only made him a champion, but also a hero to millions of people. 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project boys represents these values everyday through their program in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. During the inning breaks on Marlins Vision, the Marlins shared interviews with Marlins players and a few RBI kids, highlighting what it means to wear 42 and how Jackie Robinson’s journey still has an impact on their lives today.
Jackie Robinson Day will forever be my second favorite “holiday.” Not just for the pomp and circumstance that goes along with the day, but the look on our fans’ faces as they cheer on our Fish that carry on the legacy of a hero by wearing number 42 with pride.