River Cats Foundation
Since the River Cats' inaugural season in Sacramento in 2000, involvement in the community has been an important priority. The management and employees of the River Cats have focused their efforts on family and youth-based activities in the greater Sacramento area and have spent countless hours in the community at schools, non-profit organizations and civic clubs. All members of the various River Cats operations are keenly aware of their responsibilities to give back to the community via donations of time and available funds.
River Cats Independence Field
As part of the 2005 Triple-A All-Star Game Legacy Project, the River Cats Foundation, along with River Cats Baseball, contributed in cash, goods and services totaling more than $250,000 to River Cats Independence Field over a three year period of time.
River Cats Independence Field is a baseball diamond in South Sacramento resurfaced with a custom rubberized turf, a similar material used for the track and field surfaces in the Paralympics. This special field also includes dugouts, restrooms, snack bar and a family picnic area all redesigned to match accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities. Able-bodied players participate as volunteers and assist in batting, catching, throwing and running. Many of these volunteers are youth who are in need of experiencing how they can make powerful and positive differences in the lives of others. Leagues, clinics and tournaments are played from April until October at RCIF at the Samuel C. Pannell Center 2450 Meadowview Road, Sacramento 95822. For more information, call (916) 808-2340.
Mario Encarnacion Humanitarian Award
This Community Service Award is dedicated to former River Cats star Mario Encarnacion. The award, named after the late River Cats star, will annually honor a young student athlete who shows a commitment to his or her teammates and classmates. The winner of this award will be presented with a personalized commemorative gift. The River Cats encourage any community members to submit nominations for the award. Nominations, which are accepted through July 15, should include the nominee's name, age, school, contact info and a brief synopsis of why the nominee is deserving. Encarnacion, who played for the River Cats during the 2000 and 2001 seasons, passed away in October 2005 in Taiwan, where he was playing professionally. He is survived by his wife, Rosana, and his son, Mario Jr.
River Cats Foundation Mission Statement:
The mission of the River Cats Foundation, Inc. is to improve the lives of families and youth in the greater Sacramento region, especially those most at risk, by supporting programs and partnerships that empower families and change lives.
"Pitching In To Help Those in Need"
The River Cats Foundation was created to serve and benefit children and families in need in our community. Donations should be made to:
River Cats Foundation, Inc.
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
The River Cats Foundation, Inc. will provide financial support only to qualified IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations.
The qualified organizations must demonstrate active participation in the greater Sacramento region in one or more of the following areas:
1. Youth Activities
2. Family Activities
Criteria for Consideration of Support
Qualifying organizations must demonstrate a consistent history of supporting worthy youth and family-based activities in the greater Sacramento area. They must have been in existence for a minimum of two (2) full calendar years and demonstrate their financial stability. They will have directly supported one or more organizations whose beneficiaries are needy children, youth or families.
Required Materials to be Submitted for Review
At a minimum, the qualifying organization will provide two (2) current copies of the following documents:
1. IRC 501(c)(3) Determination Letter
2. Most recent year Form 990/990 PF as filed with the Internal Revenue Service
3. Most recent year Form 199 as filed with the California Franchise Tax Board
4. Brochures and other materials describing the organization's activities and support function
5. Formal, written request for support including:
Specific program being supported
Time frame that funds will be utilized
Other supporting materials, as appropriate
Restrictions of Request for Support
Except as otherwise determined at the discretion of the Board of Directors, the following will be the focus of the Foundation with respect to broad categories of groups supported and their annual operating programs:
2017: Academic: math and science
2018: After School (including athletic)-related programs
2019: Art, drama and music-related programs
In addition, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, the Foundation may support the appropriate youth and/or family-based capital projects of qualifying organizations.
Required Time for Request for Support
The Foundation's Board of Directors will consider Requests for Support at their Board meeting in June of each year consistent with the preceding direction. Complete information must be received by February 1st for consideration at the Foundation's annual Board meeting. Incomplete packages will be returned to the submitting organization and may be resubmitted one additional time.
Approved Requests for Support will be distributed generally in May of each year along with a Post Grant Evaluation Form, which must be completed and returned to the Foundation by December 31 of the year of the distribution. Failure to complete the Post Grant Evaluation Form will preclude the qualifying organization from receiving support in the event the organization seeks support in following years.
Method of Submission
The two (2) complete sets of materials should be forwarded via mail to:
River Cats Foundation
400 Ballpark Drive
West Sacramento, CA 95691
Periodically, the Foundation may be requested to accept a cash contribution subject to a stipulation by the donor that an amount equal to all or a portion of such cash contribution be distributed by the Foundation to a particular charity designated in advance by such donor (each, a "Designated Gift"). The Board of Directors of the Foundation may elect to accept a Designated Gift, and in such event the Designated Gift will be accepted, deposited and then distributed to the designated charity upon receipt of the designated charity's IRC 501(c)(3) Determination Letter and satisfaction of such other criteria, if any, as may be established by the Board of Directors.
* Revision Date: May, 2014
Since the River Cats opened their inaugural season in Sacramento in 2000, their involvement in the community has been an important priority. The management and employees of the River Cats have focused their efforts on family and youth-based activities in the greater Sacramento area and have spent countless hours in the community at schools, non-profit organizations and civic clubs. All members of the various River Cats operations are keenly aware of their responsibilities to give back to the community via donations of time and available funds.
The River Cats Foundation is one program chosen by River Cats ownership and management to accomplish those goals. Any non-profit organization that has a demonstrable record of supporting family and youth-based activities for a minimum of two years can apply for financial grants through the River Cats Foundation, Inc. Since its inception, the River Cats Foundation has distributed in excess of $1.7 million to many qualifying organizations including:
- River Cats Independence Field
- Frances and Chuck Collings West Sacramento Teen Center
- Optimist Club
- Late Night North Highlands
- Sacramento Food Bank
- California Musical Theatre/Music Circus
- Communicare Health Services
- various Boys and Girls Clubs
- Developmental Disability Services
- Disabled Sports USA
- Girl Scouts
- Sacramento Public Library Foundation
- Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra
- WAVE Camp for Disabled Youth
- Children's Receiving Home of Sacramento
- First Tee Golf, Special Olympics
- Sutter Health Foundation and Crocker Art Museum
- and many others
In general, the organizations benefiting from the River Cats Foundation work to further execute the Foundation's goals of assisting and supporting the needs of children, youth and families. Over ninety-eight percent (98%) of support received by the River Cats Foundation goes directly to the many organizations it has supported.
As part of the 2005 Triple A ("AAA") All Star Game, the River Cats Foundation and the operations of the River Cats at Raley Field joined in to support River Cats Independence Field as the legacy project of the All Star Game. The River Cats Foundation, along with the River Cats contributed in cash and goods and services over $250,000 to River Cats Independence Field. River Cats Independence Field is a baseball diamond in South Sacramento resurfaced with a custom rubberized turf which is the same material used for the track and field surfaces in the Paralympics. This special field includes dugouts, restrooms and drinking fountains all redesigned to match accessibility standards for individuals with disabilities. Able-bodied children will participate as volunteers and will be paired with challenged children as "buddies" who assist them in batting, catching, throwing and running. Many of these buddies are at risk youth who are in need of experiencing how they can make powerful and positive differences in the lives of others. Numerous individuals have annually taken advantage of the amenities of River Cats Independence Field which officially opened on October 9, 2005. Groups from as far away as Washington, DC have enjoyed the field.
In conjunction with the River Cats Foundation, the River Cats Community Relations department is actively involved on a year-round basis in reaching out to schools and numerous community groups by making appearances and giving speeches at school assemblies, civic groups and various facilities in the greater Sacramento area. One of the most popular programs of the Community Relations program is the Triple A assemblies: academics, attitude and attendance. The program involves focus on mathematics and baseball statistics, consistent attendance at school and a positive, can-do attitude about life, family and society. The program is active over 250 days every year with school visits and assemblies, career days, parades, banquets, clinics and more. Over 50,000 students have participated in educational field trips to Raley Field and over 2.0 million students have attended a Triple A assembly at more than 225 area public and private schools. In addition, numerous non-profit groups benefit from Raley Field by working in the concessionaire program to raise funds for their organizations. Each year, many organizations receive auction items from the River Cats to assist them in their own fund raising efforts. The Community Relations program is also actively engaged in supporting numerous youth programs in the area with the annual value of goods and services returned to the greater Sacramento area exceeding $1 million. The River Cats also produce an annual Art of Baseball calendar using drawings from students at area grade, middle and high schools.
Because of the River Cats, the River Cats Foundation and the River Cats Community Relations efforts, the quality of life for many in the greater Sacramento area has been improved and the Rivers Cats are committed to making further progress in the community.
Those organizations interested in finding out more about the River Cats' Community Relations programs and/or the River Cats Foundation should visit the team's internet site at www.rivercats.com and click on the Community Affairs link. Included on the website are specific guidelines about requesting support from the Foundation and/or making donations to the Foundation.