From Friday July 26th through Sunday July 28th, the Atlanta Braves Foundation hosted its annual Foundation Weekend at Turner Field. During this weekend, the Foundation built a store in the Hank Aaron Room. Yes…the Foundation built AN ENTIRE STORE!
This year, over $60,000 were raised over the course of three games. The store consisted of game used and autographed memorabilia from Braves players both current and alumni. From the time gates opened until the end of the game, fans filled the Hank Aaron Room to purchase items from autographed bats to game worn jerseys to mystery brown bag baseballs. Also during this time, fans could take part in a silent auction for autographed and framed memorabilia. Foundation Weekend is a time when all of the rare and unique items are put on display for fans to indulge in and support the efforts of the Braves Foundation.
All proceeds from the weekend go directly to the Foundation to continue their support of youth in the community. So, while someone may have walked away with an autographed Hank Aaron baseball or a framed jersey autographed by the 2013 team, the overall support of the Foundation is what made this weekend a tremendous success.
On Friday, June 14th, twenty lucky fans took the field before fireworks to receive autographed jerseys straight off of the backs of Atlanta Braves players. These fans won the game worn, autographed jerseys in an online auction benefitting the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Winners were escorted onto the field following that night’s matchup against the San Francisco Giants and greeted by Braves rookie catcher Evan Gattis. Over $20,000 was raised for the Atlanta Braves Foundation and will be used for grants to youth-serving organizations that focus on health, education, and recreation. Check out the slideshow of all of our winners below!
On Sunday, June 2nd, the Atlanta Braves Wives donned fanny packs and set out at Turner Field to sell mystery baseballs in brown paper bags to raise funds for those affected by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma. The wives sold the baseball from two stationary locations – behind section 202 and in Monument Grove, and the others walked around the stadium selling to fans in the stands, the 755 Club and in the SunTrust Club.
The wives asked their significant others to autograph one dozen baseballs for the fundraiser. After they collected the balls from all of the current players, they randomly packaged them in brown paper bags and sealed them with Braves bumper stickers. Fans purchased the brown bags for $40 each with all of the proceeds going to the Oklahoma Tornado Relief Funds. All of the mystery brown bags were sold out before the end of the first inning, and the event raised over $13,000 for the tornado victims in Oklahoma.
On Monday, June 17 the Braves Wives presented a check for $13,000 to Dr. Anthony Jordan, Executive Director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief team assisted thousands of families by clearing fallen trees and debris from home sites and providing over 250,000 meals for those affected by the storms in central Oklahoma.
For more information on this fundraiser, check out this interview below with Kim Hudson, wife of starting pitcher Tim Hudson, and Jessica Maholm, wife of starting pitcher Paul Maholm:
On Saturday, May 18th the Atlanta Braves honored the United States Military and Armed Forces as they took on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The day included a pregame, VIP tour for a group of wounded military veterans and pregame ceremonies. For those not participating in the on-field and pregame activities, a ticket special was also offered to all of those who had a valid military ID.
As far as pregame ceremonies go, this one definitely gave those in attendance goosebumps. The Braves had over 100 military members holding an American flag across the outfield and lining the base paths with players from both the Braves and Dodgers for the National Anthem. Atlanta Braves game day staff that had served in the military held special stars representing each branch.
Along with providing these experiences, the Braves have partnered with Emory University to create BraveHeart. BraveHeart offers veterans and veteran families free mental health services including anonymous online screenings, educational outreach, and clinical care coordination for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These services have been made available for those in Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. These representatives were on site for Saturday’s game.
For more information on BraveHeart, check out the interview with Executive Director Dr. Barbara Rothbaum below or visit their website here!
On Wednesday February 27th, members of the Braves family joined C.J. Stewart, former outfielder in the Chicago Cubs organization, as he welcomed 16 students at Parks Middle School to be a part of the 2013 L.E.A.D. program. L.E.A.D. stands for Launch, Expose, Advise, and Direct.
This is a program that C.J. and his board of directors, including his wife Kelli, started in 2007 to help students from inner city neighborhoods become better baseball players and better citizens in their community.
L.E.A.D. works with students from middle school to high school and since 2007, 100% of the students in the program have graduated from high school with 90% of them receiving baseball scholarships. This year, L.E.A.D. welcomed their first female member of the team at Parks Middle School with hopes of producing the first college softball scholarship from their program.
Last Wednesday was “Signing Day” at Parks Middle School. Students that were selected for the team received a hat and jersey and signed a contract to be a part of this program. This contract entailed their requirements of stellar academic and civic performance along with hard work in between the foul poles.
The Braves are proud to support the efforts of L.E.A.D. as they look to make this their best year ever!
The Atlanta Braves Foundation has been supporting community organizations and programs in Metro Atlanta and surrounding areas since 1992. The efforts of the Braves Foundation range from in-kind donations to the 50/50 raffle to the Grant Program. The numerous activities of the Foundation have generated over $5 million in financial and in-kind assistance to our community.
One of the activities of the Braves Foundation is our Online Auction. Each month, we feature Braves items including autographed paraphernalia and VIP Experiences. Our first auction for the year is now up and running through Friday March 1st at 8:00pm. Visit http://braves.auction.mlb.com/ to bid on a Batting Practice VIP Field Visit, Autographed Jason Heyward jersey, Autographed Chipper Jones Bat and Ball set, and many more items! Thanks for your support of the Atlanta Braves Foundation.
Remember, bidding at http://braves.auction.mlb.com/ on this set of items ends Friday March 1st at 8:00pm!
The Atlanta Braves launched the 2013 Braves Country Caravan by traveling to various locations in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. Throughout this two week trip, the Braves players, coaches, alumni, broadcasters and staff made several community outreach stops along the way.
Two stops were special visits to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and to the University of Alabama’s Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Braves players had an opportunity to play games and spend time with many of the children. The smiles on the faces of those kids spoke volumes to the impact that the Braves organization has on the southeast region of our country, better known as BRAVES COUNTRY!
Our stop at Clay National Guard, located at Dobbins Air Force Base, served as a special Braves send off for units preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. The team toured the joint operations center and saw how the National Guard helps respond to disasters in the Southeast, and then they made their way to the drill hall to greet a larger audience of soldiers and their families. The team was greeted by the 116th Army Guard Band playing the Braves chop and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, followed by a Q&A session, autographs and pictures.
To further demonstrate our gratitude to service men and women, we visited the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. After signing autographs, Freddie Freeman, Tyler Pastornicky, and JR Graham took on the challenge of the mountain climbing wall. This really gave everyone a greater appreciation for the rehabilitation efforts of the veterans at this hospital.
Next, the Braves family visited students at the DeKalb PATH Academy here in Atlanta and at Liberty High School in Liberty, SC. At the DeKalb PATH Academy, Hall of Famer Don Sutton and Bill Nigut, CEO of the Anti Defamtion League led the discussion on bullying. Don Sutton, Fredi Gonzalez, Brian Snitker, Freddie Freeman, and Tyler Pastornicky added their signatures to a “No Place for Hate” Resolution by placing their handprints and signatures on the gymnasium wall. At Liberty High School, we had the pleasure of speaking with local middle and high school baseball and softball players. The students were excited to hear from Terry Pendleton, Chip Carey, Brandon Beachy, and Sean Gilmartin and wanted to know more about life in the big leagues, influential people in their lives and what they would have done if they were not baseball players.
One of the most interactive and rewarding stops on the Caravan was our visit to Atlanta’s City of Refuge, an organization that provides resources and assistance to those who are less fortunate. Jason Heyward, Dan Uggla, Brian McCann, Paul Yanish, Reed Johnson, and Cory Gearrin spent time with the pre-schoolers then put their skills to work in the kitchen as they helped prepare and serve lunch to the residents. The Tomahawk Team even joined in by serving beverages and dessert!
The 2013 Braves Country Caravan was huge a success! The southeast always has been and always will be … BRAVES COUNTRY!!!!
The Atlanta Braves Foundation awarded $250,000 in grants to 28 local non-profit organizations. The Foundation was successful in its fundraising efforts in 2012 thanks to the generous support of thousands of fans and community partners.
“The 2012 Atlanta Braves grant recipients have presented a remarkable commitment to the betterment of our community,” said John Schuerholz, President of the Atlanta Braves. “We are pleased to contribute funding to these organizations that are invested in improving the lives of those in and around Braves Country.”
Take a look below for a summary of the 2012 Atlanta Braves Foundation Grant Recipients and Initiatives
Assistance League of Atlanta will use funds to support Operation School Bell, a program that provides new school clothing and hygiene supplies to homeless and/or impoverished youth.
Atlanta Music Project will support the African Drum and Dance training for elementary and middle school students.
Atlanta Track Club will allocate funding to support the Kilometer Kids, a program dedicated to inspiring youth to achieve health and fitness through a fun and supportive running program.
Anti-Defamation League Southeast Region will use funds to support the No Place for Hate, anti-bullying initiative.
Brian Jordan Back to the Future Foundation will support Camp Jordan, a free baseball clinic for more than 200 children held at the Villages of Carver Family YMCA.
Camp Kudzu, Inc. will support diabetes management education camp programs.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta will provide follow-up support for the B.R.A.I.N. (Bringing Rehabilitation and Injury Recovery to New Levels) program that addresses the needs of teens with acquired brain injuries.
East Lake Foundation funds will support the Charles R. Drew Charter School’s After-School Program.
Empty Stocking Fund will purchase and distribute sports equipment for families during the holiday season.
Fulton County Global Youth Leadership Program will support a two-year education and leadership and training experience for middle and high school students.
Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company will support the August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC), an arts education program that allows diverse groups of high school students to practice theatre craft through monologue performances instructed by theatre professionals.
LaAmistand, Inc. will support Latino students and their families through a tutoring and mentoring program.
Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia and Alabama will provide wish experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses.
Moving in the Spirit funds will support the “Stepping Stones,” a program that inspires and unites youth through the art of dance.
National Coalition of 100 Black Women Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter will fund the Teens on the Move program that consists of in-school mentoring sessions, teaches youth how to manage their personal finances, improve academic grades and prepare for job readiness.
North Metro Miracle League will help fund the Common Ground/Common Goals program, which brings diverse groups of children and youth together to participate in sports and social programs.
Raising Expectations, Inc. will support the organization’s after school tutorial program that focuses on youth in elementary, middle and high school while exposing them to science, technology, engineering & math.
Reconnecting Families, Inc. will provide the Celebrating Families!™ curriculum written for families that are dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect.
Royal Family Kids’ Camp (A Division of Compassionate Hands, Inc.) funds will support a weeklong camp for foster care children.
Ryan Cameron Foundation will sponsor participation in 2012 Leadership Academy, medical Day, community services outings for ninth grade students.
Special Olympics Georgia will help fund the winter and summer games for Special Olympic athletes.
Teach For America – Metro Atlanta funds will help recruit, train, place and support a number of talented recent college graduates who commit to teach two years in the nation’s lowest income communities.
The Center for Black Women’s Wellness Fund will support the 2012-2013 After-School & Summer Youth Leadership Training Program, an intensive leadership experience for youth ages 12 to 15 years who reside in the Turner Field area.
The Center for Pan Asian Community Services, INC. funding will support the after-school and summer programs for the low-income immigrant and refugee youth in Dekalb, Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett Counties.
Tomorrow’s Champions, Inc. funding will support youth softball programs including clinics and summer travel teams.
Variety-The Children’s Charity of Georgia funding will provide backpacks filled with supplies to local school districts that have the highest rate of students that are living below the poverty line.
Vox Teen Communications Inc The grant will support the expansion of the region’s only citywide youth publication and increase its coverage of health and wellness content to impact young people’s healthy behavior.
Women’s Sports Foundation–GoGirlGo! Atlanta funding will support the GoGirlGo! curriculum which helps coaches and adult leaders convey effective information about health risks and how to cope with the physical, mental and social challenges that young girls face, including body image, peer pressure and bullying over social media networks.
Villages of Carver Family YMCA will use funds to support the youth baseball initiatives at the Atlanta Braves Youth Baseball Academy.
For more information on the Atlanta Braves Foundation and its grants, visit www.braves.com/community.
This season, the Atlanta Braves, Publix Super Markets, WellStar Health System and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer teamed up for the sixth Annual Braves Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The day-long celebration of survivorship honored those who have courageously battled breast cancer, and raised awareness and funds to support research, education and advocacy for cancer patients and their families throughout metro Atlanta.
Breast cancer survivors, friends and family were invited to a pre-game reception hosted by CBS Atlanta anchor and 5 year breast cancer survivor JaQuitta Williams. Dr. Ralph Bell addressed the attendees about his experience battling breast cancer and six Diamond of Hope Award winners were recognized. The Diamond of Hope Award honors community activists who have made exceptional contributions to the fight against breast cancer. The 2012 Diamond of Hope Award honored caregivers (i.e. medical professionals, family, friends) who have made an impact in the lives of breast cancer survivors.
Following the pre-game reception, over 200 breast cancer survivors were recognized during an on-field presentation. Blue Sky Riders featuring Kenny Loggins performed the song, “Be Brave” and survivors took part in a pink balloon release signifying the hope that a cure for breast cancer will be found. The Braves salute all of the courageous breast cancer survivors.
2012 Braves Diamond of Hope Award WinnersFreddy Torres/Lawrenceville, GA Freddy was nominated by his wife Monica Torres who has been fighting Breast Cancer for four years. Freddy has provided unconditional love and support, he is an extraordinary dad. Monica said she owes her strength, tenacity and ability to survive to her husband as he has been her rock, crutch, laughter and best friend. Ruby Guillory/Lithonia, GA Ruby is an oncology nurse navigator and tireless advocate of breast cancer patients and their families at Dekalb Medical. She started a support groups for patients and she buys groceries for patients struggling to make ends meet and during the holidays she gathers toys to distribute to patients who after spending so much on treatment had nothing for their children. Rita Evans/Woodstock, GA Rita Evans is a lifetime advocate for women and healthcare. She established the GA chapter of Susan G. Komen and was instrumental in ensuring that mammograms and pap smears are covered by Medicare in Georgia. Alyssa Nesmith and Bailey Strickland/Lithonia, GA Alyssa and Bailey who were only eleven years old at the time were classmates at Greater Atlanta Christian School last year and were assigned to come up with a special service project. They chose to focus on breast cancer survivors to honor Alyssa’s father Steve who is a breast cancer survivor. They put together special “Pick Me Up” gift baskets for patients at Dekalb Medical to brighten their days and to let them know others were thinking about them.