For 33 years, Gleaners Food Bank has fed the hungry in southeast Michigan. With the growing number of children and families in need of food, the Detroit Tigers saw the need to help. This year's Thanksgiving Community Giving Program brought more than 30 volunteers from the Tigers front office. With the efforts of everyone involved, the Tigers Staff was able to package 60,513 pounds of food in 2,786 boxes that will be distributed to local charities for children and families in need. This was truly a great representation of enhancing lives!
Comerica Bank created the Grand Slam Grant in 2011 to help public high schools in Michigan create, expand, or improve a baseball or softball program. This year, with the help of celebrity guest judge, Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch, Lincoln Park High School and Kalamazoo Central High School were chosen as the 2012 Grand Slam Grant Winners. The high schools plan to use the funding toward renovations for their practice facilities which is utilized by baseball, softball, and local little league players.
In 2011, Trader Joe's and The Detroit Tigers Foundation created the Strikeout Hunger Program to Benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Throughout the program Trader Joe's pledged to make a $20 donation to Gleaners Community Food Bank for every strikeout recorded by a Detroit Tigers pitcher. The Detroit Tigers Foundation in partnership with Trader Joe's presented a check for $25,000 to Gleaners Food Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan as a result of the Strikeout Hunger program. In 2011, Tigers pitchers recorded 1,115 strikeouts, earning Gleaners the gift of $25,000.
The partnership has continued in 2012 to help Gleaners provide meals to people who otherwise could not afford the food they need.
On April 24th, Phil Coke shared his message about anti-bullying among children to fellow panelists including Joe Torre at a hearing for the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence in Detroit. Coke spoke about his own struggles of being bullied as a child and the importance of bullying prevention. The task force is part of the Attorney General's Defending Childhood Initiative, which aims to prevent and reduce children's exposure to violence.
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Detroit Tigers have partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation for the 2012 Home Run Challenge to raise awareness about prostate cancer. The goal of the Home Run Challenge is to raise awareness and funds to aid in research to find a cure for prostate cancer. The Tigers honored a special group of guests during an on-field pregame ceremony at Comerica Park to raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation including Dr. Evan Keller, Dr. Quentin Clemens, Dr. Khaled Hafez, Dr. Jill Macoska, Dr. Vesna Ivancic- all are physicians from the University of Michigan and are grant recipients of the Prostate Cancer Foundation conducting research at the University of Michigan to find a cure for prostate cancer.
During all games on June 17th, MLB players and umpires wore light blue wristbands and blue ribbon decals during the game to raise awareness of the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Each year, a little over 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease or ALS. To raise funds and awareness for this grave disease, the Detroit Tigers partner with Major League Baseball and ALS organizations nationwide in honor of Lou Gehrig's "Luckiest Man" Speech. The initiative remembers the great Lou Gehrig who inspired so many with his outstanding on -field achievements and unparalleled strength of body, mind, and character. As we remember the legend, we honor all who have been touched by ALS, the disease that came to be named after the baseball great.
MLB and the Detroit Tigers are proud to partner with ALS of Michigan for this initiative. ALS of Michigan is a voluntary solely dedicated to the fight against ALS, serving pALS (people with ALS) and their families in the State of Michigan through a variety of programs.
The Detroit Tigers organization makes a distinct effort to visit patients in surrounding pediatric hospitals throughout the season. Tigers infielder/outfielder Donnie Kelly along with his wife Carrie and Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer continued this mission by visiting patients at DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan. Everyone was all smiles in the playroom where the Tigers had a chance to play games with the patients. In addition to lifting spirits, Scherzer and Kelly presented every patient with an autographed photocard, Doug Fister growth chart, and Miguel Cabrera banner.