Earlier today the Appalachian League announced the recipients of the league's annual awards, voted on by general managers of each club in the Advanced Rookie League. The Burlington Royals have received the 2018 Appalachian League Community Service Award, awarded to the club that demonstrates an outstanding ongoing commitment to charitable service, support, and leadership within their local community and baseball industry.
"We are extremely honored to have received the 2018 Appy League Community Service Award," said Royals General Manager Mikie Morrison. "Burlington and the rest of Alamance County hold a special place in our hearts, and we want to continue to help make it a great area to live."
The Royals partnered with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Autism Society of North Carolina, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, the American Red Cross, and more to make a difference in the community during 2018.
This year marked the 6th annual 5K Fun Run/Walk for Autism Awareness, where all proceeds go to benefit the Autism Society of North Carolina (ASNC). The ASNC was also the recipient of funds from a jersey auction the Royals hosted over the course of the season. Over $2000 was raised to go towards improving the lives of individuals with autism, supporting their families, and educating communities.
The Community Spotlight program was revamped this year, thanks to the Royals' partnership with LabCorp. The Royals hosted one local non-profit organization at the ballpark each night, giving the organization 50 free tickets to the game, a tabling appearance on the concourse to spread word about their cause, and a radio spot during a half-inning on the game broadcast. The Royals look forward to continuing the Community Spotlight program in the 2019 season.
Another returning program this summer was the Summer Reading Program, Operation One Million Minutes. The Royals teamed up with Alamance County Public Libraries, Chick-fil-A, and Sir Speedy Printing to encourage thousands of kids across Alamance County to read during the summer before heading back to school in the fall.
In addition to programs and events at the stadium, individual front office staff members were involved in the community, working with organizations like Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, and Rotary. Front office staff members are committed to serving Alamance County and will continue to do so in the off-season.
In a partnership with Alamance Regional Medical Center, $5 was donated to the American Cancer Society for every strikeout by a Royals pitcher this summer up to 500 strikeouts, in an effort to Strike Out Cancer. Those 500 strikeouts were met led by strikeout machine Marcelo Martinez (71 SO in 10 games), making the donation total $2500. Royals players, staff, and Bingo also visited Alamance Regional Medical Center this past season, stopping by the Cancer Wing and other departments in the hospital.
The Royals participated in community service initiatives led by Minor League Baseball in the 2018 season as well. Partnerships with organizations such as Bairfind, a crowdsourcing platform that aids in the search to find missing children, were enabled at the stadium and assisted in the discovery of two missing children. The Royals hosted a Prostate Cancer Awareness night and raised funds through an auction for Ed Randall's Fans for the Cure to go towards prostate cancer awareness. Lastly, they had a night dedicated to Joe Torre's Safe at Home Foundation, which is committed to ending the cycle of domestic violence at home and raised money through an auction for the Family Abuse Services of Alamance County.
Royals players made a night special for two Little League teams with the annual Little League Takeover. The players coached the little leaguers and gave the kids a professional game experience by taking over the in-game music, Public Address system, and on-field games and promotions. The two Little League teams were able to experience the game just like the professional Royals players get to almost every night during the season.
Lastly, the Royals hosted several drives over the course of the season - two blood drives for the American Red Cross and Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, two canned food drives and a back-to-school drive benefiting the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, and one dog food drive to benefit the Humane Society of Alamance County. The Royals continued their partnership with the Salvation Army B&G Club with a jersey auction of the 1993 Fauxback jerseys worn in July, with all proceeds benefiting the Club.
As the 2018 Appalachian League Community Service Award recipient, the Burlington Royals will be nominated for Minor League Baseball's John Henry Moss Award, which is given to a Minor League club for their ongoing commitment to charitable service and their support and leadership within the community and the baseball industry.
For the full list of Appalachian League awards, follow this link.
The Burlington Royals are the Advanced Rookie League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They can be contacted at 336-222-0223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.