San Bernardino, CA - On Friday the California League announced the 2016 Front Office Awards and named the Inland Empire 66ers the winner of the Excellence in Community Service Award. The award, which was voted on by the other organizations in the California League, was given to the 66ers due to their outstanding and on-going commitment to charitable service, support and leadership within the local community.
The Sixers received high praise from the league for their efforts and commitment to the community following the tragic events on December 2nd. A day after the incident, thousands came to San Manuel Stadium to attend a candlelight and prayer vigil. Victim's families and friends, civic leaders and the community at large started healing the healing process together. On this night "SB Strong" came into existence and an organic fundraising opportunity happened after multiple attendees asked where they could buy tee shirts with the SB Strong logo on them. The fundraiser was a great success as over 2,000 shirts were purchased with 100% of the proceeds heading to the San Bernardino United Relief Fund. Following the vigil the club would go on to host a luncheon for the first responders, a SB Strong Charity Picnic and Blood Drive and the team's SB Strong Night Game. During this game the Sixers and the visiting San Jose Giants wore specialty SB Strong jerseys that went up for auction to raise funds for the cause. In total, $74,115.26 was raised for the victims and their families through events held at San Manuel Stadium.
The 66ers continued their excellence in community service by closely working with local schools in several ways. The team's reading program, which provided tickets for children and their families for reading, saw an increase in participation by over 30%. In addition, the club introduced the Breakfast with a Book Program in which students were rewarded for their academic efforts by receiving breakfast and a new book courtesy of the club. The commitment to the area didn't stop there as the 66ers worked with over 200 local partners that had an impact of over $400,000 in donations during the 2016 Season.
About the Inland Empire 66ers
The Inland Empire 66ers are the California League Affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels and play their home games at San Manuel Stadium. The club is one of eight Elmore Sports Group owned franchises and one the six Minor League Baseball clubs in the group. Other Elmore Sports Group baseball franchises include the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Pacific Coast League), The San Antonio Missions (Texas League), Lynchburg Hillcats (Carolina League), Eugene Emeralds (Northwest League), and the Idaho Fall Chukars (Pioneer League). The 66ers franchise will play their 30th season in San Bernardino during the 2017 season which starts on Thursday, April 6th.