Wilmington, DE -
The Wilmington Blue Rocks continued their commitment of giving back to the community throughout the 2010 season. The year saw the team, in tandem with its marketing partners and fans, raise $744,721.99 worth of contributions to local charities, schools and community organizations. The sum includes many different types of contributions including cash, tickets and services.
"We take pride in being able to contribute at this level to youth and charitable organizations in the greater Wilmington area," said Blue Rocks general manager Chris Kemple. "I'm certain that we could not have done this without assistance from our 2010 marketing partners and fans that also played a large role in raising these funds."
Below is a breakdown of the team's efforts in the community during the campaign:
Cash Donations - $19,115
The Wilmington Blue Rocks were able to donate $19,115 to local organizations in 2010. These donations included Little League sponsorships, specialty game-worn memorabilia auctions, ticket kickbacks, and a sponsorship with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware.
During select games, the Blue Rocks wore special jerseys or hats. That apparel was then auctioned and raffled off during those games. Some items were auctioned off online as well. Below are a few examples:
Boots on the Ground - Blue Rocks wore Camo hats
Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition - Blue Rocks wore Pink jerseys
B+ Foundation - Blue Rocks wore Throwback jerseys
Other organizations that benefited from this included: The Ronnie Williams Foundation, the ING DIRECT Kids Foundation, United Cerebral Palsy of Delaware, and the Kelly Heinz-Grundner Brain Tumor Foundation.
Ticket Donations - 66,798 tickets, Value - $601,182
Each year, the Blue Rocks are able to accommodate almost every donation request. Through those donation requests, school programs, and by offering bulk tickets to select local organizations (Kind to Kids, USO Delaware, Delaware Police Departments, and more), the Blue Rocks were able to donate almost 67,000 tickets for the 2010 season.
Centerplate Concession Stand Money - $63,149.99
During the 2010 season, local organizations had the opportunity to work the concession stands during Blue Rocks games. In exchange, Centerplate, the concessionaire for the Wilmington Blue Rocks, gave them a portion of the revenue from that game. Throughout the season, over $63,000 was donated to these organizations for their efforts.
Non-Ticket Donations - $21,575
These donations are for extraordinary cases that call for something extra special. Non-ticket donations consist of:
Experience Items (first pitches, on-field inclusion)
Autographed Items (bats, baseballs)
Blue Rocks Baseball Camp Scholarships
Advertising Donations - $8,500
During home games, the Blue Rocks allowed select non-profits to promote themselves or upcoming events. This promotion was executed through the use of the RocksVision video board, the public address system, and by providing concourse tables.
The Blue Rocks Front Office donated over 50 hours of their time to speak at community events. These events included speaking to children at local elementary schools, high schools, and colleges about careers in sports, and speaking to local organizations about the Blue Rocks.
Wilmington Blue Rocks Players made many appearances over the 2010 season. Some of these appearances included visiting the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (at least once a month), a youth detention center, local schools, United Cerebral Palsy's summer camp, as well as other local summer camps.
Mascot Appearances - $7,500
Rocky Bluewinkle visited 196 community events this year. (Spanned over 240 hours; Value of free or discounted appearances - $7,500).
In-Stadium Fundraising at Frawley Stadium - $23,700
The Blue Rocks opened up Frawley Stadium to select charitable organizations during home games, and enabled them to raise money for their respective causes. Money was raised by selling t-shirts, raffle tickets, and by collecting donations. There have also been a number of check presentations before Blue Rocks games during the 2010 season.
K's for Kids: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware donated money every time a Blue Rocks pitcher recorded a strikeout at home. At the end of the season, Delaware Guidance Services for Children and Youth, Inc. was presented with a $5,000 check.
Stolen Base Learning Initiative: SBLI Life Insurance donated money for each Blue Rocks stolen base during a home game. At the end of the season, BooksFirst! was presented with a $5,000 check.
Stolen Bases for Happy Faces: New Castle County Chamber of Commerce donated $5,000 to the Bear Babe Ruth Baseball League Miracle League Field project.
B+ Score for the Cure: AstraZeneca donated money for each Blue Rocks run scored at home. At the end of the season, the B+ Foundation was presented with a $5,000 check.
Make-A-Wish Night: On Aug. 31, the Blue Rocks hosted Make-A-Wish Night. Wish Kids were treated like stars. They were able to participate in some unique activities before and during the game, and they received lots of autographs and free stuff.
Challenger Little League: The Blue Rocks continued the tradition of working with the Challenger Little League to host its season's Opening Ceremonies. Each player was introduced individually, and all teams get to play on Judy Johnson Field.
Stadium Tours: The Blue Rocks offer stadium tours for free. Tours are usually 30 minutes long. In 2010, the Blue Rocks hosted 60 tours, many to community organizations with little to no funding.
Toy Drive: The Blue Rocks were once again, able to contribute toys to the Mary Campbell Center. Rocky Claus surprised guests at the Mary Campbell Center's youth and children holiday party with a sack full of donated toys.
Tackling Childhood Obesity
The Wilmington Blue Rocks are committed to tackling the epidemic of childhood obesity. To do so, the Blue Rocks have partnered with local programs like Nemours Health and Prevention Services, Titus Sports Academy (CHAMPIONS program), and Girls on the Run. Through these partnerships the Blue Rocks have been able to reward kids who participate in health/fitness-related extracurricular activities.
If any local community groups would like to be a part of the Blue Rocks' community efforts in 2011, please call director of community relations Dave Arthur at 302-888-5357 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.