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:
I attended and graduated from Berkshire High School with, what I call, the opposite of a running scholarship. Instead of them paying me to run, I ended up having to pay them to showcase my talents in Cross Country and Track. The joke’s on them, because I wasn’t that talented so they got ripped off!
When I was in 9th grade, it cost me (technically my parents) $250 to play sports for the year. By the time I was a senior, that price raised to $300 per sport! That’s $600 that my parents had to pay for just me–let alone my brother (Football and Track) and my sister (Cross Country). It even got to the point where they were charging $300 to be in marching band! I loved my trombone, but shelling out that kind of kale isn’t worth all the girls’ phone numbers I could have got because I was a poetic, soul-searching musician (my mom always told me girls find that attractive, although looking back now I think she was being more nice than truthful to me). Either way, paying money to run made every race and track meet I competed in feel like I was paying off an IOU to the school.
I’m talking about that good old “Pay to Play” scenario which seems to be more and more popular in Ohio high schools. Levies don’t pass, or budgets cause programs to shut down unless they charge the student athletes to pay to play for their sport. For some school districts, the cost is much higher than others.
Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) made the difficult decision earlier this year that they have to cut all Spring sports to try to save money. Normally, baseball and softball would be part of this mix but thanks to Cleveland Indians Charities (the charitable arm of the Cleveland Indians), these two sports will still be in play.
Every year since 1995, Cleveland Indians Charities has made a contribution to CMSD to help fund their baseball and softball programs. Because of the annual contribution made by Cleveland Indians Charities, these two programs will not be included in the cut of Spring sports!
It takes roughly $350 to support a team for the season and thanks to Cleveland Indians Charities’ generous financial donors, in-park silent auctions, Fantasy Camp, Celebrity Golf Outing and numerous other fundraisers, we are able to cover the cost of the school district’s teams and eliminate the dreaded ‘pay to play’ scenario.
Cleveland Indians Charities is dedicated to provide baseball opportunities to the youth of Cleveland and, to date, they have donated over 2.2 million dollars to CMSD to ensure all students have that opportunity. To find out more about Cleveland Indians Charities and how you can make your dollars count, go to www.indians.com/community and click on the Cleveland Indians Charities box.