(WHITAKER BANK BALLPARK, Lexington, Ky.) The Lexington Legends made donations totaling $1,000,763 in 2016 to a variety of non-profit organizations serving central Kentucky.
In its 16-year history, the Legends organization has donated close to $15 million to the region.
"The Legends are proud to be part of this community and region," said Legends President/CEO Andy Shea. "We will continue to provide support to these great organizations that do so much good work."
Among the organizations and causes who benefited from events and programs in 2016 were:
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: Overnight campouts for Boy Scouts (August 18) and Girl Scouts (May 6) were held following Legends games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The scouts sold nearly 1,000 donated game tickets to raise funds for their organizations. About 700 scouts participated in the campouts.
Breast Cancer Research and Awareness: The Legends held Breast Cancer Awareness Night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark on July 9. Funds raised through an auction of pink jerseys and pink bases used during the Legends game that night, along with t-shirt sales, benefited Kentucky Cancer Link, which serves breast cancer patients on a personal basis by reducing or eliminating barriers to screening, diagnosis and treatment; The Markey Cancer Center, established in 1983 as a Comprehensive Cancer Center; and Susan G. Komen, the world's largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer. The Legends and LBX held a celebration lunch, with proceeds going to those same three organizations.
Military Appreciation Night: The Legends' Military Appreciation night was held on June 25. It included an auction of jerseys to benefit Military Missions, a local non-profit organization that supports troops in a variety of ways, including the sending of care packages with personal items and snacks to military personnel.
Bark in the Park: The Legends held 12 "Bark in the Park" nights during the 2016 season. Dog owners were invited to bring their dogs to the game, and a two-dollar "admission" charge for each dog was donated to the Scott County Humane Society.
Guns and Hoses Softball Game: The Legends provide the setting for the Guns and Hoses game, which matches the Lexington Police Department against the Lexington Fire Department in a softball game and home run derby. The winning team takes home a trophy, and the loser receives a toilet seat as the runner-up prize. More than 2,000 people attended the 2016 game.
Community Organization of the Night: The Legends provide an opportunity for a local non-profit organization to step into the spotlight at a Legends home game. Organizations may set up an information table on the concourse, and a representative is interviewed on the field before the game and on radio during the game. Organizations who purchased discounted tickets for re-sale as a fundraiser also received 25% of the proceeds from that night's 50-50 raffle. (The Legends Charitable Fund also received 25%, and the fan holding the winning ticket received 50%.)
Hit the Books Reading Program: Geared toward elementary schools, the Legends' Hit the Books Reading Program is designed to encourage students to read, both in school and away from school. The Legends gave away 33,000 Hit the Books bookmarks to students in central Kentucky in 2016. (A winning bookmark design is selected from students' entries.) Those who complete the Hit the Books reading program are awarded two tickets to a Legends home game.
Field of Dreams: The Paul Miller Ford Field of Dreams program allows youth baseball and softball players to be part of pre-game festivities. Members of the youth teams are introduced to the fans and take the field along with the Legends starters. Teams are selected at random from registrations received at Field of Dreams sponsor locations. Team members receive complimentary admission to the game. The Legends hosted 80 Field of Dreams teams in 2016.
Legends Character Award at William Wells Brown Elementary: Every nine weeks during the school year, 19 students from William Wells Brown Elementary School in Lexington are selected to receive the Legends Character Award. The award is designed to motivate students to demonstrate good behavior and a great attitude. The students are nominated by their classroom teachers. Winners are publicly recognized and personally congratulated by the Legends' Big L.
Kids Area: At every Legends home game in 2016, Lafayette High School cheerleaders volunteered to work in the Aetna Kids Play Area to raise money for their cheer program. The Legends made a $7,500 donation to the program.
Go Red Night: The American Heart Association and St. Joseph Health Care System sponsored a "Go Red" Night June 3 at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, where fans received information on the dangers and risks of heart disease. Free blood pressure checks and presentations of information were provided throughout the game.
Donation requests: The Legends donate tickets, memorabilia or merchandise to as many organizations as possible. Tickets are used by members of the non-profit organizations or for auctions to raise funds for those organizations. The Legends fulfilled more than 300 donation requests in 2016.
United Way of the Bluegrass: Donors to the annual United Way of the Bluegrass campaign receive two free box seat tickets to a Legends home game. In 2016, the Legends donated 23,333 tickets for use by the United Way.
St. Joseph Hospital Nursing Scholarship Program: At the end of every baseball season, the Legends hold a silent auction for the jerseys worn by the players during home games. Proceeds go to the St. Joseph Hospital Nursing Scholarship Program.
Fundraising tickets: The Legends offer schools, teams and other organizations an opportunity to buy tickets at a discounted price and raise funds by selling the tickets at the regular price. More than 5,000 tickets were purchased at the discount rate for fundraising in 2016.
For more information on the Legends' community programs, contact Sarah Bosso at 859-422-7847 or [email protected]