As part of Major League Baseball's annual Roberto Clemente Day, a large contingent from the Pirates -- including several current players -- will visit a local elementary school in celebration of the Hall of Fame outfielder's life and community service legacy. The happening will take place on Tuesday, September 17 and the Pirates and Pirates Charities are working with the Pittsburgh Promise to identify the school that will be the beneficiary.
Last year, the Pirates spent time with students at Dilworth Elementary School of the Pittsburgh Public Schools system in connection with this initiative. At a morning assembly, the children there heard from Pirates President Frank Coonelly and Manager Clint Hurdle, and also had the opportunity to meet many of the team's players and coaches.
Following the assembly, the players helped to distribute $25,000 worth of school supplies and equipment that was purchased by Pirates Charities for the Dilworth students. Those supplies included iPads to assist teachers in facilitating an arts-integrated digital portfolio project, Clemente-related books, portable basketball hoops, basketballs and jump ropes.
When the Arizona Diamondbacks visited PNC Park for a 7:05 p.m. contest on August 16, the Pirates and Pirates Charities joined the fight against a deadly disease by promoting the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) movement.
Special packages for SU2C Night were sold for $40 and included a ticket in the SU2C section of the bleachers, a SU2C cap, an "I Stand Up For" card to honor a loved one affected by cancer, a chance to sign a special SU2C banner at the ballpark, and an opportunity to win great Pirates prizes in a raffle. In addition, every fan who came to the game that night received a cheer card in honor/memory of a loved one affected by cancer. Everyone was asked to stand up and show their card during the seventh-inning stretch.
In addition, $10 from each package sold will be donated to Stand Up To Cancer, a groundbreaking initiative that was created in 2008 to accelerate innovative cancer research and get new therapies to patients quickly and help save lives. The proceeds from the Pirates Charities 50/50 Raffle that night will also go directly to SU2C.
SU2C -- which is widely supported by Major League Baseball and its teams -- has brought together the best and the brightest researchers and encouraged collaboration instead of competition among the entire cancer community. To find out more about the program, visit standup2cancer.org.
Bryan Morris was on hand at PNC Park on the morning of July 13 to help kick off the 25th anniversary edition of the Pirates Family Fun Run/Walk for Epilepsy. The Pirates' reliever was joined by former Steelers All-Pro offensive lineman Alan Faneca and his daughter Annabelle, plus WTAE-TV anchor Andrew Stockey and comedian Jim Krenn for the event -- which raises money for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania.
Registration and breakfast began at 8:00 a.m. and the 5k run/2-mile walk got underway at 9:30 a.m. After completing the race, participants moved on to a giant tailgate party where they enjoyed food and beverages donated by local sponsors. Prizes were awarded to the teams and individuals that raised the most money, and all of the participants received a free ticket to a Pirates game, a commemorative t-shirt and other items.
The 8th annual Pirates Charities Golf Classic presented by Allegheny Health Network took place on July 11 at the Fox Chapel Golf Club. Pirates President Frank Coonelly and Dr. Patrick DeMeo, the Pirates' Medical Director and Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery at Allegheny General Hospital, were the honorary co-chairs. In addition, Harold Balk of Eckert Seamans served as committee chair for the event, which raised $162,000.
The tournament included more than 100 participants who had the opportunity to spend the day on the golf course with Pirates players such as A.J. Burnett, Jason Grilli, Andrew McCutchen and Mark Melancon; former Pirates like ElRoy Face, Bob Friend, Bill Mazeroski and Kent Tekulve; plus General Manager Neal Huntington, Manager Clint Hurdle and the team's coaches and broadcasters.
The Pirates hosted their 3rd annual Pitch for Hope Women's Baseball Clinic on June 30 at PNC Park as more than 300 women learned basics of baseball from Manager Clint Hurdle and his coaching staff. With the help of sponsors such as rue21, Highmark and Eckert Seamans, the event raised more than $50,000 (up from $25,000 a year ago) for A Glimmer of Hope to help fund cutting edge 3D-automated ultrasound equipment at the Allegheny General Hospital Breast Care Center. The machinery is designed to detect additional breast cancers not seen by traditional mammography.
The two-hour instructional baseball clinic provided participants with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of pitching, hitting and fielding as they visited workshop stations set up around the field. They also were able to meet some of the current Pirates players. Plus, once their work on the field was completed, they were treated to a catered brunch on the deck out in left field. Participants also received a ticket for the 1:35 p.m. game against the Milwaukee Brewers that afternoon and a commemorative t-shirt.
"The women are very excited that the Pirates have embraced this event," said Diana Napper, who founded A Glimmer of Hope in 1996. "The women are just in awe of the whole day, and Clint Hurdle (whose mother is a breast cancer survivor) is quite an inspiration to them. He really does motivate them. That's a great day for them."
A Glimmer of Hope is a Pittsburgh-based foundation that funds the only under-40 breast cancer research study in the country.
The 5th annual Pirates Charities Sporting Clays Invitational was held on June 10 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, PA. The fundraiser was hosted by award-winning instructor Michael Mohr and presented by Allegheny Sports Medicine, Cabela's, Seven Springs, and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc. Pirates and Pirates Charities Chairman Bob Nutting -- who is an avid outdoorsman and a skilled shooter -- served as the chairman of the event and a strong representation of Pirates players, coaches, broadcasters, alumni and front office executives also participated.
A total of 120 people -- 30 teams of four -- had the opportunity to enjoy the two challenging courses at Seven Springs that were designed by Mohr to take advantage of the natural beauty of the Laurel Highlands. Thanks to the generosity of the event's sponsors and attendees $63,000 was raised to help support the many and varied efforts of Pirates Charities.