The holidays are a special time for the Detroit Tigers family, and we enjoy sharing our holiday cheer with others. Each year, the Tigers and Delaware North Company - SportService treat a group of underprivileged children to a holiday feast at the Tiger Club and special evening of gifts and surprises.
This year, the Tigers hosted 50 children and teens from Black Family Development and the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange. Black Family Development serves families in need and the MARC supports children living in foster care, working to find permanent homes for foster children and teens.
After dinner at the Tiger Club, the families were surprised with a special trip to Fairlane Town Center, where each child received a gift card to be spent during a shopping spree! Families were paired with a member of the Detroit Tigers front office staff and a few lucky families had the opportunity to shop with Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter and his wife, Katrina, FSD Broadcaster Shannon Hogan, Broadcaster Rod Allen, Tigers pitching coach, Jeff Jones and his wife, Paula and Tigers mascot, PAWS.
Starting in its second year, Tigers All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera continues to support the Hispanic community through his Cabrera's Chamitos initiative. At each Wednesday home game, children from deserving charitable groups in the greater Detroit area have the opportunity to attend a ball game at Comerica Park as special guests of Miguel Cabrera. The group watches batting practice from the field, receives a Cabrera's Chamitos t-shirt and has the opportunity to meet Miguel Cabrera.
Detroit Tigers All-Star third baseman Miguel Cabrera hosted 4th Annual Keeping Kids in the Game, the Detroit Tigers Foundation's signature fund-raising event. The event features exclusive ballpark and field access including self-guided tours of the home clubhouse, dugout photo station and private fireworks show. In addition, nearly 200 patients and family members from Children's Hospital of Michigan and C. S. Mott Children's Hospital were invited to a special night under the stars at Comerica Park, courtesy of Detroit Tigers Players & Coaches.
Proceeds from the event support children's health and youth baseball programs facilitated by the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation, the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, and the Miguel Cabrera foundation, a charity established by Rosangel and Miguel Cabrera.
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. Past winners of this grant include Kalamazoo Central High School, Lincoln High School and Detroit Renaissance High School. On April 6, Cass Technical High School and Holland High Schools were chosen as the recipients of the 2013 Comerica Bank Grand Slam Grant and each received $10,000 to support their baseball and softball programs. The high schools plan to use the funding towards renovations for their baseball and softball facilities which are also utilized by local youth ball clubs. Students from both schools' baseball and softball programs were honored in a special on-field pregame ceremony featuring Tigers outfielder Andy Dirks.
In 2011, Trader Joe's and the Detroit Tigers Foundation created the Strikeout Hunger Program to Benefit Gleaner's Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Through the program, Trader Joe's has pledged to make a $20 donation to Gleaner's for every strikeout recorded by a Detroit Tigers pitcher during the regular season. During the 2012 season, Tigers pitchers recorded 1,318 strikeouts; earning Gleaner's the gift of $26,360. The Detroit Tigers Foundation in partnership with Trader Joe's presented a check of their donation to Gleaner's during an on-field pregame ceremony. The partnership will continue in 2013 to help Gleaner's provide meals to those 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 2013 Home Run Challenge. The goal of the Home Run Challenge was to raise awareness and funds to aid in research to find a cure for prostate cancer. The Tigers honored a special group of physicians during an on-field pregame ceremony at Comerica Park to honor the Prostate Cancer Foundation. All are grant recipients from the Prostate Cancer Foundation and are conducting research at the University of Michigan to find a cure for prostate cancer. During all games on June 16, MLB players and umpires wore light blue wristbands and blue ribbon decals while playing to raise awareness for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Each year, over 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease or ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). To raise funds and awareness for this grave disease, the Detroit Tigers partner with Major League Baseball and ALS organizations nationwide. MLB and the Detroit Tigers are proud to partner with ALS of Michigan, a voluntary non-profit organization solely dedicated to fight ALS. The organization serves pALS (people with ALS) and their families through a variety of programs including referrals and resource guides. Representatives from ALS of Michigan were recognized during an on-field pregame ceremony at Comerica Park on June 22nd.
The Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities, partnered with Channel 955 (WKQI-FM) and Mojo in the Morning's Time Team Detroit for a service project at Christ Child House in Detroit. Christ Child House provides care to boys who suffer from developmental, emotional and behavioral impairments as a result of abuse and neglect.
With Tigers mascot PAWS, over 50 volunteers helped refurbish the baseball field at the facility, refresh the grounds with new landscaping, flowers, paint and more. In addition to the service project, the Detroit Tigers Foundation donated youth baseball equipment including gloves, baseballs, bats, helmets and catcher's gear to Christ Child House along with tickets for the boys to enjoy a Tigers baseball game this season.
This season, Tigers All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer partnered with the Detroit Tigers Foundation to launch Scherzer's Superstars. Through the program, Scherzer hosts "matches" from Big Brothers Big Sisters Metro Detroit at Comerica Park during every Tuesday home game. Each week the group receives game tickets, program t-shirts and the opportunity to meet Scherzer. The program works to instill excitement in the game of baseball and to thank mentors for volunteering their valuable time to service as positive role models for youth in the community.
Tigers All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter has partnered with the Detroit Tigers Foundation to launch the Hunter's Homies, a program that hosts deserving Tigers fans during the 2013 season. Participants each receive a game ticket, Hunter's Homies t-shirt and has the opportunity to meet Hunter on the field during Tigers batting practice. The program has hosted individuals from Christ Child House and the Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Michigan.