Boys and Girls Clubs to travel in style

Bucs make donation to Boys and Girls Clubs

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A yellow school bus adorned with the Pirates' "P" and the team's pirate head decal sat in front of the McKechnie Field gate on Friday afternoon. After Friday, it will have a home at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County.

Pirates owner Bob Nutting and starter Tom Gorzelanny presented the Boys and Girls Club with a $30,000 check donation from Pirates Charities to be used for the purchase of the bus prior to the Pirates' game against the Reds.

Almost two-thirds of that money was raised on Feb. 22, when 28 members of the Pirates organization, including players, coaches and front-office staff, took part in the Inaugural Pirates Charities Spring Training Golf Classic at the River Strand Golf and Country Club.

The rest of the money was raised from silent auctions held at the Pirates' home park during the past week.

"We are extremely pleased to reaffirm our commitment to making a positive impact on the Bradenton community," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement released by the organization. "This donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs, through the work of Pirates Charities, allows us to show that commitment and make a true difference in the lives of so many area youths."

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County were strongly in need of a sufficient way to transport the organization's children to and from varying activities. With six area locations, the Boys & Girls Club in the county has an annual membership of about 2,500 children.

This donation was the first from Pirates Charities for an organization outside the Pittsburgh area. Pirates Charities, a non-profit organization that was established in 2006, raised over $275,000 last year in its first full season of existence. Its biggest contribution was given to the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania in order to fund the construction of a baseball complex in Pittsburgh's Shadyside area.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.