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.
The Braves are teaming up with Governor Nathan Deal, the Atlanta Falcons, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Department of Education to promote fitness among Georgia’s youth through Georgia SHAPE.
During the 2011-2012 school year more than 500,000 elementary, middle and high school students throughout Georgia participated in the SHAPE FITNESSGRAM to measure levels of fitness including aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition.
This September has been proclaimed Georgia SHAPE month by Governor Nathan Deal and at the end of the month, the Braves will honor physical education teachers from schools that successfully completed the fitness assessments. Each school will receive an award package that includes a SHAPE banner, parking sign, and a Good Sports equipment package.
Visit the Georgia SHAPE website at www.georgiashape.org to learn more about the initiative, find healthy recipes and locate fitness opportunities in your community.
In conjunction with Major League Baseball’s Civil Rights Game, on August 18 the Braves hosted the Braves Youth Baseball Clinic and Summit presented by Kia and MasterCard at Turner Field.
Held in partnership with L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct), an Atlanta-based nonprofit whose mission is to provide at-risk, inner-city youth with access to higher education and civic engagement through baseball, the free event provided the 300 youth in attendance with the opportunity to gain exposure to the sport of baseball.
During the event, the youth honed their hitting, pitching and fielding skills in fun and creative drills facilitated by L.E.A.D. Ambassadors and volunteers. Braves alumni Otis Nixon, Rick Camp, Charlie Liebrandt and Greg McMichael were also on hand to provide guidance during the activities.
After the clinic, participants were treated to lunch and participated in a summit. Guest speakers included:
Othello Nelson Renfroe, Jr. – Son of Othello Nelson “Chico” Renfroe, a member of the1938 Atlanta Black Crackers team that captured the second half championship of the Negro American League
Jasha Balcom – Dublin High School baseball stand-out turned actor who has a cameo as baseball legend Jackie Robinson in the movie “42″
Tim Sims – Minister and baseball letterman from Jackson High School in Jackson, Georgia who has a passion for youth and motivates them to pursue their dreams
Leron Rogers – Entertainment and sports attorney with experience representing high-profile celebrities in their professional and business ventures as well as corporations that conduct business in the entertainment and sports industries.
Ronnie Richardson – Atlanta Braves Director of Minor League Operations
The summit speakers shared their life experience and spoke about the impact that the Civil Rights Movement had on their lives and how it helped inspire their success.
Click Here to see photos from the clinic courtesy of Phil Brooks, Quike Photography.
The Atlanta Braves hosted the 4th Annual Atlanta Braves Youth Baseball Classic presented by Bank of America on August 3-5. Forty teams ages 5 -12 competed in the exciting pool play style tournament held at the Atlanta Braves Baseball Academy at the Villages at Carver Family YMCA.
Teams were broken into four divisions including 5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, 9-10 year olds, and 11-12 year olds. Each team played a total of three games, and the division leaders faced off in a championship game on Sunday evening.
5/6 Division: Acworth Blue Warriors
7/8 Division: Georgia Force
9/10 Division: Jr. Braves Red Hawks
11/12 Division: Carroll County Lions
The 5/6 and 7/8 year-old teams each selected three players to compete in a baseball skills competition. The three events consisted of the Golden Arm Throwing Contest, the Fleet Feet Baserunning Competition, and the Home Run Derby. Skills Competition winners were recognized in an on-field presentation prior to the Braves vs. Astros game.
Skills Competition Winners:
5/6 Golden Arm: Landon Daniels, North Macon All-Stars, Macon, GA
7/8 Golden Arm: John Daniel Coleman, Ball Busters, Clyo, GA
5/6 Fleet Feet: Maliki Jeffries, Black Eagles, Lawrenceville, GA
7/8 Fleet Feet: Leighton Finley, Wayne County Buzz, Jesup, GA
5/6 Home Run Derby: Steven Gregory, Rockmart Yellow Jackets, Rockmart, GA
7/8 Home Run Derby: Hunter Roney, The Wolf Pack, Jenkinsburg, GA
During the weekend, all players received a Youth Baseball Classic t-shirt and Braves giveaways, and each team had the opportunity to meet and take a photograph with Braves pitcher Brandon Beachy. Youth Baseball Classic participants and their families attended the Saturday, August 4 Braves vs. Astros game and were invited to participate in the pre-game parade at Turner Field. Congratulations to all 600 Youth Baseball Classic Little Leaguers!
Each year, the Atlanta Braves and Publix Super Markets team up for She Can Play, an initiative aimed at encouraging girls to make healthy choices for their minds and bodies and enhance their lives through sports and physical activity. The Atlanta Braves hosted the first She Can Play Fitness Festival presented by Publix Super Markets at Turner Field on July 31.
250 girls ranging from ages 8-12 visited Turner Field to take part in this girls only event geared towards teaching young women how to lead an active life and get involved with athletics.
Each participant was placed in a fitness group and rotated to a variety of fitness stations located around the stadium. Fitness stations included double dutch, dancing and aerobics, cardio and agility drills, light weight lifting, and teeing off inside the Braves batting cage. Once the activities concluded, the group was addressed by Ervin Watson of the Georgia School Nutrition Association about the importance of creating good eating habits. Candice Dixon of the Women’s Sports Foundation/GoGirlGo! also led a discussion on a creating positive body image among young women.
All participants received a free t-shirt, healthy lunch, and two complimentary tickets to the Braves vs. Marlins game as well as invaluable information about getting involved in sports and leading a healthy and active life.
Each season, the Atlanta Braves Foundation hosts Foundation Weekend, one of the Foundation’s signature fundraisers. The 2012 event was held on July 27, 28 and 29.
From the time the gates opened until the end of the game, fans visited the Hank Aaron Room at Aisle 128 to purchase unique and valuable memorabilia. The event included merchandise from the Atlanta Braves, other Major League Baseball teams, local professional and collegiate sports teams, and celebrities. A silent auction also took place each night offering framed items from the Atlanta Braves, including a catcher’s protector from Brian McCann.
We would like to extend a big “Thank You!” to all of the fans who supported the Atlanta Braves Foundation during Foundation Weekend.