I had a rough day at work the other day. It was a day filled with running around from one end of the ballpark to the other, making sure things were in place for an event we were doing the next day, making sure our Fill the House for Charity night was going off without a hitch and dealing with the guy who sits next to me (Nate Janoso) who coordinates events for Cleveland Indians Charities. He’s an awesome guy, but he is cursed with rain spoiling every charity event we have. And because rain never spoils my events, I have to constantly take a special chunk out of my day to remind him how funny that is. It is very tiring.
With how rough that day was, it only took two minutes to make me remember why I love my job. It all started a week before with a guy named Ken.
Ken had given me a call and said he just got back to the states from Afghanistan to his base in Louisiana. His family lives up here in Cleveland and, while they knew he was back in Louisiana, they did not know when he was coming home. We quickly devised a plan which included setting his family (all 32 of them) up with tickets to the August 10 game. Ken’s sister was the only family member who knew what was going on and she coordinated the family part of the plan.
Ken flew up to Cleveland and met up with me. I took him down to watch the Indians take BP as well as meet some of the players. We then took him into a room and recorded him giving his family a message to make them think he was still in Louisiana and it would be played during the game. When the time came in the game to roll the tape, we stationed a camera guy right near the seats the family was sitting in and had Ken walk down to the seats to surprise them!
As the entire family watched the message play on the scoreboard, they looked so happy just to see him on the jumbo-tron. Once they then realized he was walking down the aisle they erupted into tears of joy. Ken’s two young daughters ran up to him laughing and smiling. His wife, with tears in her eyes, hugged and kissed him. The crowd of 30,000 gave him a standing ovation and began chanting “USA, USA.” It was a moment that left many fans around him with watering eyes and is a moment I will never forget.
Thank you to our scoreboard and camera crew for capturing the moment. Thank you to Ken and all of the servicemen who defend our country on a daily basis. Thank you to Jessica R. for helping keep Ken occupied in between BP and first pitch and thank you Nate Janoso for having it rain on your raffle the night before this all took place so that it would be a nice night for my event!
The beginning of June is finally here. After months of dealing with crazy Cleveland weather where it is 90 degrees one day and 40 degrees the next, we are officially free from cold weather for at least a month! Heck, I can’t even remember what a Nimbostratus cloud looks like! To the lay-person, Nimbostratus clouds are low-lying clouds that produce rain, ice and/or snow.
With June also comes the final days of school for many kids. Seniors in high school have their last summer at home to look forward to before opening up the next chapter of their life in college. Seniors in college have their last summer of freedom before they have to get a job and live in the real world–although, the way the job outlook is, they may have a couple of years of freedom before finding a job!
What else does June bring? Well Indians baseball, of course! Yes, I know the Tribe has been playing for two months now, but there are a ton of events coming up that are exciting to learn about! Here is what the Cleveland Indians and their Community Relations department has coming up in June:
June 3: Major League Baseball Player Alumni Association (MLBPAA) auction at the ballpark–auctioning off former and current MLB player memorabilia (Pete Rose autograph baseball, Nolan Ryan autograph photo, etc.)
June 5: Signature Sunday for first 100 High Achievers who check in during KeyBank Kids Fun Days
June 8: Fill the House for Charity benefiting Berea Children’s Home. Portions of ticket sales from the June 8 game will go directly to Berea Children’s Home!
June 17: Indians in the Community event: Members of the Indians front office and some players will help serve lunch at La Sagrad Church.
June 18: MLB Pitch, Hit and Run competition at Progressive Field. Local Pitch, Hit and Run winners square off to decide who will be the champion and move on to the Finals held at the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona!
June 19: Cleveland Indians Charities “Play Catch” fundraiser. Fans can buy tickets to “Play Catch” on the field with their dad after the game. All proceeds go to Cleveland Indians Charities.
June 21: PLAY Clinic. 40 local youth are invited down to Progressive Field to participate in the clinic. The clinic is put on by the Cleveland Indians trainers.
June 22: Fill the House for Charity benefiting Special Olympics. Portions of ticket sales from the June 22 game go directly to Special Olympics!
I’ve always considered myself a “glass half full” kind of guy when it comes to just about everything thrown at me in life. The rare exceptions are 1.) when I run out of gas and 2.) when I finish a glass of water.
This Wednesday night, April 6, Indians fans can’t be “glass half full” fans. They have to be “glass overflowing” fans. In a very roundabout and confusing way, I’m trying to tell you to come to the game so that we can Fill the House (the house in this case being Progressive Field) because the more people who come to the game–the more money gets donated to the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland. For every paid ticket, the Cleveland Indians will donate $1.00 to the Diabetes Association.
I know what you are thinking, “$1.00? That’s it?” Picture a paid attendance of 43,000 and $1.00 for each paid ticket going to the Diabetes association. That’s a check for $43,000! Let me say that again, that’s a check for $43,000! Are you seeing how I am a “glass half full” kind of guy yet? So let’s get out there and buy a ticket to tomorrow night’s game and help support this great organization!
For 13 Wednesdays throughout the 2011 season the Cleveland Indians will team up with a Northeast Ohio non-profit organization to provide much-needed funds and the opportunity to raise awareness for their specific cause. Launched in 2009, this program has raised more than $1,100,000 in monetary and in-kind donations for 13 Northeast Ohio non-profits.
The Indians will donate $5 from each ticket sold by the participating non-profit organization back to the charity. Also, $1 from every overall ticket sale for Wednesday games during the 2011 baseball season will be donated to the designated charity.
The Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland’s mission is to ensure that Greater Clevelanders affected by diabetes have the support they need to live well with the disease.
This blog has been asleep for quite some time now and, even when it was alive and kicking, it was updated only every so often. My plan (and goal) is to change that with constant updates throughout the 2011 season. And by constant updates, I mean whenever I get some new information to blog about.
For those of you who are just reading this for the first time ever, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Justin and I am the Coordinator of Community Outreach for the Cleveland Indians. The purpose of this blog will be to keep you informed on everything that the Cleveland Indians do “Off the Field.” We have an incredible outreach program and this blog will help get the word out on everything we have a hand in, from our Cleveland Indians KeyBank High Achievers Kids Club, to our Fill the House for Charity program and even into some Cleveland Indians Charities events that we put on as fundraisers.
I’m going to throw this out there right now (and you can pick it up if you want to) that I was in no way an English major in college. When you read this blog, you will probably find numerous mistakes in my grammar and punctuation. I especially love commas. If you love writing and see that I am butchering it, feel free to comment; however, I can’t promise I will do anything about it. My goal is to simply spread the news on what the Cleveland Indians do in the community.
I think for the first entry of 2011, this is long enough. Please stay tuned and check back often and I promise you won’t be disappointed.