I was in the Progressive Field Team Shop the other day to buy a hooded sweatshirt for my future sister-in-law, who I will refer to only as Rebecca D. Actually, that’s too identifiable, so I’ll call her R. Drew instead. Anyway, she had been hounding me forever to get her an Indians hoodie (yeah, I called it that) and her birthday was approaching so I thought I might as well. I scrounged up enough Indians Fun Money (Fun Money is like Micky Mouse money…it’s not real, but you can still buy stuff legally with it) and made the purchase.
The cashier gave my total as $34.88. She then asked if I would like to “Round Up for Charity.” You can see my Round Up for Charity blog entry here. Of course I said yes, and the remaining 12 cents was given to Cleveland Indians Charities (CIC). Twelve cents doesn’t seem like much, but if everyone “Rounds Up” that accumulates to a pretty good number for charity. Round Up, along with numerous other fundraisers throughout the year allow CIC to make some amazing financial contributions.
The past few days, CIC has been making headlines by donating those funds back to the Cleveland community. On March 31st, a Rally for Excellence was held at East Tech High School and was open to any and all supporters/students/teachers/parents of Cleveland Metropolitan School District. At the rally, Cleveland Indians Charities presented CMSD a check for $167,000 which will be used to continue their baseball and softball programs (which would have been eliminated along with their other Spring sports programs).
The Indians and CIC continued their support of the baseball and softball programs by attending the Senate League’s season opener on April 2. The ceremonial first pitch(es) was thrown out by Cleveland Indians President, Mark Shapiro and CMSD Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon. This marks the 15th season of partnership between the Athletic Department of CMSD and Cleveland Indians Charities. In those 15 years, CIC has donated over $2.4 million dollars to help operate baseball and softball programs throughout the Cleveland school system.
CIC was not done yet! On April 4, Cleveland Indians Charities President and Indians Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Bob DiBiasio along with Indians Chairman and CEO Paul Dolan made their way to the Boys and Girls Club’s Broadway Club to make the largest charitable donation in CIC history. They presented a check in the amount of ONE MILLION DOLLARS to Ron Soeder, President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland to support their “Save Our Kids” campaign.
The “Save Our Kids” initiative aims to raise $16-20 million dollars over the next five years in an effort to maximize the reach of existing Greater Cleveland clubs, add new clubs throughout the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Breakthrough Charter Schools, and build a sustainable endowment to support the children of Cleveland.
Check out the video below for a summary of the donation and the partnership of the Cleveland Indians and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland:
In my younger years, I always wanted to do stand up. Not for a living, but just one quick gig. I was smart enough back then to know that I would eventually run out of funny, so it was one gig and done. I even thought of ideas that I could put in my act.
I thought it would be funny to talk about how my girlfriend at the time would pay for things. If something was $14.76, she wouldn’t just pay with a $10 bill and a $5 bill–or even easier–a simple $20. She would give the cashier a ten, four singles and sit there and count out 76 cents. Digging through her purse, she would count as she put the change on the counter, “50, 60, 70, 71, 72, 73…Justin, do you have 3 pennies?”
“No. I don’t. I have a $20, use that.”
“I want to get rid of my change. Oh, here we go! 74, 75 and 76 cents!” She would say as she pulled out a second change purse.
Sometimes she would take it a step further and give the cashier a $10 bill, a $5 bill and a penny so she could get an even quarter back. It was an endless fight on how to correctly pay. I always wondered how she ever got all that change if she always paid the exact amount. Nowadays, I just use a debit card and that’s the end of it. And nowadays, she is married and I’m not, so who was the real winner in that argument?
My story has two points. The first is that I was a comic genius when I was a younger lad. The second is that this story is a great lead in to talk about the Cleveland Indians “Round Up For Charity” program.
The idea is simple, you go to an Indians Team Shop and buy something. Whatever the total amount of your purchase is, you are asked if you want to round up for charity. Of course, being the good people you are, you agree. The total purchase is then rounded up to the nearest dollar and that extra money goes to charity. Example: If your bill was the same as my old girlfriend’s bill of $14.76 and you agree to round up–your bill becomes $15.00 and the 24 cents you rounded up on goes to charity. Fantastic, but what charity?
The four charities that will split the end of the year donation will be Cleveland Indians Charities, Flashes of Hope, The Gathering Place and Stewart’s Caring Place. So the next time you go buy a Carlos Santana jersey, or a good old foam finger; try your best to make it an uneven bill so that you can “Round Up For Charity.”