IronPigs Charities presented by The Air Production Foundation, a non-profit organization striving to provide educational and recreational opportunities for children in the Greater Lehigh Valley area, will award a total of $85,700 in cash grants to 20 non-profit organizations during Thursday's sold-out Phillies Winter Banquet featuring 1,100 guests at the Sands Events Center. Since debuting in 2007, IronPigs Charities has contributed a total in excess of $550,000 in cash grants and $215,000 in in-kind donations to dozens of local non-profit entities.
"Without question, this is the most rewarding night of the year for our organization," remarked IronPigs Charities President Kurt Landes. "Make no mistake; these contributions would not be possible without the loyal support of our fans and business partners. We are truly humbled by the generous backing that IronPigs Charities receives and we look forward to continuing to make a tangible impact in our wonderful community."
One of the annual highlights of the Winter Banquet event is the distribution of grants to local non-profit organizations. In fact, over $280,000 has been distributed at this event alone since debuting in 2008.
The 2013 beneficiaries along with a brief synopsis of their benefitting programs are listed below:
- Allentown School District Foundation: An after-school intra-district middle school baseball program will be started in Allentown School District. At current, the Allentown School District does not have a baseball program at the middle school level. This program will allow for dozens of 6th, 7th and 8th graders to play baseball.
- Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem: Mind, Body and Soul are the three components of the Triple Play program. The multi-faceted program is designed to help young people become healthy and active while forming new relationships.
- Boys and Girls Club of Easton: The Triple Play program consisting of the Mind, Body & Soul components, addresses a need for low-income youth to get more structured exercise in sports, explore healthy nutrition and learn social skills.
- Community Bike Works: Children participate in a three month "Earn a Bike" program in which they receive instruction on bike mechanics, bike safety, employment skills and business concepts. At the successful conclusion of the program they earn a bike and a helmet.
- Easton Police Athletic League: New uniforms and equipment will be purchased for the Easton Police Athletic League's wrestling program. This program serves 50 youth from the Easton area.
- Family YMCA of Easton, Phillipsburg & Vicinity: The Family YMCA Summer Youth Basketball League serves boys and girls ages 8 to 18. This program supports 80 youth and focuses on low income families.
- Friends of the Allentown Parks: The Queen of the Court will give girls in the city of Allentown the opportunity to play basketball. Nearly 100 girls are expected to participate in the four week program.
- Lehigh County Conference of Churches: The Aspires mentoring program addresses the health and wellness of at-risk youth in the Allentown School District. The IronPigs Charities grant will fund ten weeks of recreational and educational group activities.
- Lehigh County Youth Association: LCYA serves over 100 youth who participate in a variety of sports, including baseball. The IronPigs Charities grant will provide new catchers equipment, a pitching machine, new bases as well as field maintenance equipment.
- Lehigh Valley Zoo: The Lehigh Valley Zoo's Wildlife & Wellness Program is a nature inspired health and fitness after-school program to benefit primarily disadvantaged, school-age youth in our community.
- Lower Macungie Youth Association: After receiving a 2012 grant for field maintenance related items, Lower Macungie Youth Association will now receive funding for a storage shed for the items that were purchased last year.
- Mikayla's Voice: This June, Mikayla's Voice will be hosting a one-of-a-kind triathlon for children with and without disabilities. Children with physical disabilities will participate in all three phases of a triathlon with a little help from their friends.
- Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley: Their mission is to provide an all-inclusive baseball program for children with various special needs. The IronPigs Charities grant will provide uniforms and equipment for the nearly 300 players in the league.
- Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley: Golden Dippers Ice Cream Parties will take place at the Children's Hospital at Lehigh Valley Health Network for children battling cancer who are hospitalized. Additionally, PCFLV will celebrate the end of chemotherapy treatments with a Last Round of Chemo party.
- Sacred Heart Hospital: An afternoon program of health and wellness will provide over 400 low-income youth with fitness activities, healthy snacks, fresh fruits and vegetables and a backpack giveaway filled with school supplies.
- Salvation Army: The Breaking Barriers Fitness Camp will teach youngsters how to get fit, how the body works and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Each child will receive a personalized workout routine after the instructional sessions.
- Special Olympics Lehigh County: A full course of track and field events will be setup for over 500 Special Olympics Athletes at Whitehall High School.
- Valley Youth House: Valley Youth House will be building "Pigtown" as the fifth element of the adventure course at Camp Fowler. Throughout the year nearly 850 youth will participate in the adventure course.
- YWCA of Bethlehem: The YWCA will give over 50 girls the opportunity to learn the game of golf. Held at Southmoore Golf Course and Wedgewood Golf Course, the young women will learn the necessary skills needed to play in tournaments throughout the area.
Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr., manager Charlie Manuel along with Dave Brundage (IronPigs manager), C Erik Kratz and INF Kevin Frandsen headline the sold-out 2013 Phillies Winter Banquet presented by The Air Products Foundation, Coca-Cola and the Lehigh Valley Health Network to be held on Thursday at the brand-new Sands Events Center in Bethlehem. Other Phillies dignitaries include Benny Looper (Asst. GM), Joe Jordan (Dir., Player Development) and Steve Noworyta (Asst. Dir., Player Development).
The Phillies Winter Banquet beneficiary, IronPigs Charities, is a recognized 501(c) (3) non-profit organization on the state and federal level.
The state-of-the-art Sands Bethlehem Events Center, a spacious 50,000 square foot venue, opened earlier this year on the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem campus and has already hosted a wide array of premier musical acts, comedians and sporting events. The events center is directly located adjacent to the Sands Hotel. Winter Banquet attendees may enter at any of the Sands Boulevard entrances off 3rd Street and follow the signs directing you to the rear of the hotel.
To renew or order season tickets, mini plans or group tickets for the 2013 IronPigs season presented by Capital BlueCross, call (610) 841-PIGS (7447) or visit Coca-Cola Park's ticket office during normal business hours.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.