Trenton Thunder Charities
With the inception of the Trenton Thunder in 1994 came a commitment from the organization to be a part of the community in which it was established. The Thunder have lived up to this commitment with Trenton Thunder Charities, which at the conclusion of the 2014 season had donated in excess of $5.4 million worth of goods, services and monetary donations, through a variety of community programs. The combined efforts of the Thunder and its sister team, the Lakewood BlueClaws, have contributed over $6.9 million to community outreach in their franchise histories.
What does the Thunder mean to Trenton? (from the Times of Trenton)
Treasure Hunt - be part of our biggest and most fun fundraiser of the year!
Community Grant Program - supporting organizations that enhance the educational opportunities and quality of life for children as well as programs that support the betterment of the local community in general.
Super 50/50 - have your 501(c)(3) non-profit organization sell 50/50 raffle tickets at a game.
Thunder Speakers Bureau - we bring the ballpark excitement to your community event!
Tickets For Kids - Companies support local youth organizations by making it possible for them to attend a game.
Donations - if you're local and doing good things, we're here for you!
Totals Through The End Of The 2014 Season
Good Deed Day: The Thunder hosted the first ever "Good Deed Game" in August 2010. This season the Thunder had over 200 fans participate by making at least one donation to the seven drives held outside the stadium. The annual event features a blood drive to benefit the Community Blood Council of New Jersey, a school supplies drive to support the learning center at the East Trenton Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a non-perishable food drive to benefit the Mercer Street Friends Food Bank, a clothing drive for the Rescue Mission of Trenton, a toiletries drive to support HomeFront, and a pet supplies drive to benefit The Shelter Animal Project.
Treasure Hunt: The Trenton Thunder Charities Treasure Hunt sent participants on excursions throughout Mercer, Burlington and Bucks Counties for the first time in 2012. Participants spent an afternoon traveling the region hunting for items on their Treasure Lists and enjoyed a ballgame in the picnic area at ARM & HAMMER Park. In 2014 the event netted over $3,000 for charity.
HOPE Week: A week long initiative started by our parent organization, the New York Yankees, designed to reach out to remarkable people who are worthy of recognition for their inspiring actions and support of their communities. In 2014, we honored ConKerr Cancer, One Simple Wish, Isabelle Julian/Anchor House, Homefront, & Mercer Street Friends.
Super 50/50: The Super 50/50 allows non-profit organizations to sell raffle tickets at a Thunder home game for $1.00 as well as raise awareness for their cause. Half of the money raised goes to the non-profit organization, and the remaining half goes to a lucky fan. Since the program started in 1998, Super 50/50 groups have raised $1,015,917 for area non-profit organizations.
NJM Safe At Home: Starting in 2012, the Thunder and NJM Insurance Group of West Trenton teamed up for the Safe At Home promotion at all home games. Through this promotion, NJM makes a $50 donation to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen for every run Trenton scores at ARM & HAMMER Park. This year a $14,900 donation was made.
Uganda National Little League Support: The Thunder have supported the development of baseball in the nation of Uganda for the last ten years including providing equipment and uniforms for the Ugandan National Little League teams. Richard Stanley, a co-owner of the Thunder, has been instrumental in the development of the sport in that country. In 2012, Uganda was the first team from the continent of Africa to qualify for and travel to the United States to participate in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. The Ugandan National Little League team visited the Thunder and were honored before a game. This year the Thunder have continued supporting the league and the coaching staff of the Thunder is working on a training video for the Ugandan National Little League to use in the future.
PNC First Strikeout Program: The Thunder and PNC Bank have partnered for the last three seasons on a program that sees a $100 donation made to a local community non-profit for the first Thunder strikeout of every home game. In 2014, the National Junior Tennis and Learning of Trenton was selected to receive the donated funds.
Dog of the Day: The Thunder partnership with North Star Vets is aimed at raising awareness for homeless dogs through the "Dog of the Day" program. Each game, starting in the 2007 season, a different adoptable or service dog is known as the "Dog of the Day". The dogs are taken to the field at ARM & HAMMER Park where they are shown on the video screen and introduced to the crowd along with information about the dog's shelter.
Special Olympics Night: One night for each of the past nine seasons, Special Olympics New Jersey has a special night at the ballpark. Special Olympics holds a special pregame ceremony on the field prior to the game, complete with a torch lighting. Boomer has also visited the games themselves to take part in the festivities. Altogether, over 2,500 New Jersey Special Olympians and their families came out to Arm & Hammer for 2014's event.
Awareness Nights: Since 2005, the Thunder have often teamed up with non-profit and community organizations to help create awareness. The team has held a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Night, an Autism Awareness Day, DARE Day, Celebrate New Jersey Day and Knights of Columbus Night among many more. The team has also held recognition nights for Teachers, Student Athletes, School Musicians, First Responders and Armed Forces personnel.
Read Across America: Each March since 2005, members of the Thunder front office visit schools in the greater Trenton area to participate in the National Education Association's Read Across America program. The Thunder staff members served as "guest readers" and read books to classrooms of elementary school children. The National Education Association's Read Across America program is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on or around Dr. Seuss's birthday.
The Gift Of Baseball: In its first eight years, the Thunder donated 5,712 tickets to underprivileged youth through the "Gift of Baseball" program that was unveiled in December 2005. The Thunder teamed with the Children's Home Society of New Jersey for this program that saw one underprivileged family receive tickets to a Thunder game for each season ticket, half season ticket, Mini Ticket Package or Pic-A-Plan purchased during the holiday shopping season. Each of the families who received tickets are part of the Holiday Gift Outreach program run by Children's Home Society.
Boomer's Book Buddies & Boomer's Baseball Tour: In 1994, the Trenton Thunder designed and implemented a literacy program to encourage voluntary reading for students in grades 2 through 4. In 1995, the NJEA joined hands with the Thunder to help promote widespread literacy through the state of New Jersey. During the visits, Boomer re-enacts the historical poem "Casey at the Bat" and the children are given a bookmark asking them to read five books outside of their required classroom reading. As an incentive for the children to read they receive two free tickets to a Thunder home game for completing the program. Along with the literacy program Boomer also takes part in his Geography Campaign (Boomer's Baseball Tour). This geography lesson through baseball challenges the students to use research and writing skills by having them write to other baseball teams and ask for their current pocket schedules. Each student that takes part in the program is rewarded with two tickets to a Thunder home game.
It's Your Turn With Derby: "It's Your Turn with Derby" is a program offered by the Thunder and the NJEA for K-1 students that features the Thunder's professionally trained golden retriever, "Home Run" Derby. During the school appearances, Derby and members of the Thunder staff visit with children and read It's Your Turn, a children's book about Thunder mascot Boomer.
Most Improved Student Program: The Most Improved Students from all over New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania are honored at ARM & HAMMER Park before Thunder games. Each student in the NJEA Most Improved Student Program is recognized for their achievement on the field in front of the ARM & HAMMER Park crowd. Teachers in the region are asked to nominate any number of students they wish based on their own merits. All nominated students received a ticket to the game they are being honored at.
FUNdraising Program: The Thunder FUNdraising program helped non-profit groups in the Trenton area raise over $1,567,474 in the last twelve years. The Thunder sell tickets to community organizations at a special rate and the group then sells the tickets at face value. The Thunder then donate one dollar per ticket sold to the largest FUNdraising group of the day (over 300 tickets).
Match Maker: The Trenton Thunder Match Maker program is a way underprivileged children are able to see a game at ARM & HAMMER Park. Season ticket holders can turn in tickets that they are not using to be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Trenton and the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Trenton.
Tickets for Kids: Each season the Thunder teams up with corporations to provide tickets to deserving non-profit groups as part of the Tickets For Kids program. Through the generous efforts of Johnson & Johnson, PSE&G, and other small and large companies, kids from non-profit groups attended Thunder home games this year. This program allows children to enjoy all the fun surrounding a professional baseball game when they might not ordinarily be able to do so. Since 1996, 67,718 children have enjoyed Thunder baseball because of this program.
Blood Drives: Recognizing the blood supply shortage during the summer months, the Thunder have teamed with local blood collection agencies to hold blood drives prior to Thunder games. The events have been an overwhelming success as Thunder staff and fans continue to meet and surpass the collection goals set forth by the drive organizers.
NJM Family Night at the Ballpark: Through a partnership between NJM Insurance and the Trenton Thunder, Special Olympics of New Jersey has received over $32,000 in the past four seasons.
Green Initiatives - click here to see the team's full lineup of environmental programs.