KANSAS CITY, MO (July 18, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities, in partnership with Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, will celebrate groundbreaking ceremonies on two adaptive field projects in Olathe, Kan., and Independence, Mo., next week. The projects are possible with proceeds from the 2012 Major League Baseball Gatorade All-Star Workout Day held at Kauffman Stadium in July 2012.
The Independence Ability Field at McCoy Park – Tuesday, July 23 at 12:30 p.m.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, July 23 at McCoy Park, located near Highway 24 and Delaware in Independence. The festivities are set to begin at 12:30 p.m.
The City of Independence Parks and Recreation Department is transforming a section of McCoy Park into an accessible baseball field and play area for kids with and without disabilities. The park, which is located in the shadow of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, will feature a play area designed by Unlimited Play, Inc., with specialized equipment ensuring all children can participate regardless of limitations created by disabilities. Jackson County (Mo.) has more than 3,800 children with disabilities, the largest number of any county in the Kansas City area.
Additional support for this field is provided by the City of Independence Parks and Recreation Department, State Farm and Unlimited Play.
Olathe Miracle League Field – Wednesday, July 24 at 12:30 p.m.
The following day, the Royals and community partners will break ground on the new home field for the Miracle League of Olathe, the newest addition to the Olathe Northwest High School Athletic Complex. The ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Since 2004, the Olathe Miracle League has played its games in the backyard of Ricky Hernandez, a youngster bound to a wheelchair whose family has graciously hosted more than 25 disabled children on Saturdays in the spring and fall. The Dream Factory built the custom baseball field at Ricky’s home more than eight years ago after hearing of his dream to play baseball. The construction of this new adaptive field will help the Miracle League of Olathe reach more children in the district.
Additional support for this field is provided by City of Olathe Parks and Recreation Department, Olathe Medical Center, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, Mid-America Nazarene University and Strickland Construction.
After contributions to these two projects, remaining All-Star funds will support future field projects as part of Royalty Fields matching grant program. Created in 2006, the ongoing Royals Charities program strives to improve baseball and softball facilities across the Midwest. With these two adaptive baseball fields, nearly 70 fields have received financial support since its inception. Baseball and softball programs in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Arkansas or South Dakota may apply for a Royalty Fields matching grant for major renovations. For more information, visit www.royals.com/royaltyfields.
MLB and the Royals donated approximately $4 million from a portion of the proceeds from the MLB Gatorade All-Star Workout Day to benefit a variety of local community projects and national charitable organizations. Since 1997, more than $57 million has been donated to non-profit organizations from MLB Gatorade All-Star Workout Day proceeds. The 2012 All-Star Summer boasted the most extensive charity activity in All-Star history, as MLB and the Royals partnered on more than 26 initiatives during All-Star Week.
For more information, members of the media may contact the Royals Publicity Department at (816) 921-8000.
Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City: Variety the Children's Charity is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting and protecting the health and well-being of children around the world. Through a network of 43 chapters in 13 countries, Variety reaches into communities across the globe to offer financial assistance and services to children and organizations that serve children with special needs. Variety Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City supports individual children in the area who are physically or mentally challenged and children's organizations that benefit special-needs children. To learn more about this organization, please visit www.varietykc.org.
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation: The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation uses baseball and softball themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved youth residing in America’s most distressed communities. Founded in 2001 by members of the Ripken family in memory of their patriarch Cal, Sr., the Foundation works to create programs that positively impact at-risk youth through active community partnerships with America’s most successful youth service organizations. In 2012, the Foundation impacted more than 154,000 youth in 47 states around the country.
Royals Charities: The Kansas City Royals and Royals Charities are committed to being active members of the Kansas City community and region. Created in 2001, Royals Charities supports children, education, youth baseball/softball and military efforts in and around the Kansas City area through financial donations and in-kind support such as memorabilia, tickets and publicity. Under the leadership of the Glass family, Royals Charities has donated more than $7 million in grants since its inception.