Results tagged ‘ Marlins Foundation ’

When There’s So Much More To Talk About

Today was…

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,

Confident handshakes,

Rockin dance moves,

Knack for following directions,

Tolerance for others’ beliefs…
Oh, and of course:



Fielding, and


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.


ICYMI – The Month of Awesome

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.



Compression for Life – Cycle 2

2014 Compression for Life - Cycle 2

2014 Compression for Life – Cycle 2

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

and Exults- South Florida.

Putting our Mission into Action

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

Devin Hadley, Yoandry Perez, Niko Saltare, and Cleveland Westbrook of Marlins RBI displayed their talents in this inaugural showcase in front of MLB and NCAA Div I and II scouts.

Career Workshop Series visits University of Miami

Juniors from Marlins Ayudan Partner School Miami High and S.L.A.M. toured University of Miami and learned about how they can become involved in community service as college students.


Career Workshop Series at Marlins Park covering Finance and Marketing

Mitch Less, Partner at global auditing firm Grant Thornton, speaks with students from Miami High, TERRA, and S.L.A.M. at the Accounting and Marketing workshop at Marlins Park.


The Transitional Learning Academy of United Cerebral Palsy of Miami visit Marlins Park

Young students with Cerebral Palsy pose with Marlins Ayudan inside the Marlins clubhouse.


Miami High Special Needs Students take Bluefoot Pirate Tour

Special Needs students from Miami High are rewarded for their hard work with a day on the high seas.

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?

2013 Marlins Charity Partners

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.

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Breakthrough Miami
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.


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