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:
Due to the overwhelming popularity of this blog since I started it a few months ago, I’ve had so many request to drop people’s names in it. A couple of weeks ago, when the Tribe was playing in Los Angeles, my cousin (who lives in LA and was going to the game) asked if I could include his name in it. I had to quickly explain to Marty that this blog is for business purposes only–to promote to the world how the Cleveland Indians are helping the community through volunteer efforts, fundraising, appearances and the like. It is not to be used to plug the DeLaat family name. So I’m sorry, Marty DeLaat, but I will not be allowed to mention your name in this blog per MLB’s rules.
I am suddenly reminded of a crazy cousin of mine who, growing up, used to take the RTA down to then Jacobs Field during Indians games and get a bunch of autographs from the players. Being the business savvy kid that he was, he would then go on and sell a lot of those autographs to help keep his cash flow going. It was a great idea, completely legal, and kept him out of trouble.
Cleveland Indians Charities does a similar version of what my cousin used to do; however, we take a slightly different approach with it. For one, all of the money made from sales goes straight to Cleveland Indians Charities. We also get the items from the Indians Clubhouse, so they are authentic items (most were actually worn/used by the players) and not replicas.
We call these items Clubhouse Collectibles and they are sold in our Progressive Field Team Shop. Not all of the items are autographed, but we sell anything from bats (broken or just used), signed player photos, old player jerseys, signed baseballs, helmets, etc.
So the next time you come to a game, or are in the Cleveland area and are looking for some cool team issued/team used memorabilia, swing into the Team Shop and check out the Clubhouse Collectibles. Or, if my cousin from California is back in town you can just buy something off of him. We’d prefer you go through us, though!