Pirates Charities, the official philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, today announced the recipients of the third and final round of the "Fields for Kids" matching grant program of 2013. Local baseball and softball organizations located throughout western Pennsylvania were awarded grants to help ensure their programs continue to thrive.
The third round of grants was made possible by a $25,000 donation by Legendary Entertainment Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Tull and his wife Alba. Thanks in part to the donation by Tull; a total of more than $40,000 was distributed to eight organizations throughout western Pennsylvania.
"We are proud to partner with Thomas Tull to provide area youth with the safest facilities possible to play baseball and softball," said Bob Nutting, Chairman of both the Pirates and Pirates Charities. "The support of Thomas and his wife Alba on this round of Fields for Kids grants has helped Pirates Charities make a meaningful impact in the community."
The third round of the Fields for Kids grants will impact eight counties in the western Pennsylvania region including Allegheny, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Jefferson, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland.
"Baseball is a game that at any level brings so much to not only those who play, but also to the communities that support the teams and players," said Tull. "It is a privilege to be able to be part of an initiative that helps young ball players realize their dreams and further their enjoyment of the game by making needed field improvements to facilities in the Pittsburgh area and around the state."
The organizations that are impacted by the September grants include the RW Clark Youth Baseball League in North Union Township. The league serves more than 410 boys and 215 girls and is in the process of renovating one of the group's original fields that has been in place for over three decades. The group will use the matching grant to replace the backstop and upgrade fencing.
The Butler Township Baseball Association, which has over 370 boys and more than 100 girls participating in their program, will utilize the funds to replace fencing around their fields and dugouts to bring them to current safety standards.
The Allegheny County Eden Christian Academy, which has more than 20 boys participating in the league, is in the process of renovating an existing athletic facility to include a baseball field. The YMCA of Indiana County has more than 130 boys and girls that take part in their program and the grant will allow the group to renovate the existing infield and outfield.
The Reynoldsville Little League in Jefferson County is home to more than 100 participants and renovations will include infield improvements, dugouts, fencing and more.
Others receiving funds include the A-C Valley Little League, which has more than 140 boys and girls participating in their league. The Venango County group will use the grant to repair infield conditions, replace drainage and more. The Pittsburgh Shock, based in Washington County, will use the funds to improve an indoor facility for the girls' fast pitch program. The Spartan Central Baseball Association in Westmoreland County has more than 150 participants and will use the matching grant to assist in the construction of two new fields that will allow the group to expand their softball program.
The "Fields for Kids" program is one of Pirates Charities' signature programs and provides financial support to improve youth baseball and/or softball facilities through matching grants of $1,000 to $5,000. Grant funds may be used for the upgrading of essential field components such as sod, infield playing surfaces, fencing, dugouts and irrigation systems. Upgrades to the overall facility, including lights, bleachers, scoreboards and concession stands are also eligible. Nearly 1,700 youth in western Pennsylvania will benefit from the third round of grants.
In 2013, a total of 33 youth baseball and softball organizations located in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia were awarded grants to help ensure their programs continue to thrive. Since the program began in 2009, more than 150 individual grants have been distributed in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Eastern Ohio and the Pirates Spring Training home of Bradenton (Manatee Co.), Florida.
To find out more information on the "Fields for Kids" program, please visit www.pirates.com/piratescharities.