PEORIA, IL - The Peoria Chiefs and corporate partner PNC Bank are teaming up with the Heart of Illinois United Way's Success By 6 program to reward Pre-K children who took part in the Homer's Pups Reading Program with a free ticket to the Sunday May 21 2:00 p.m. Chiefs game and a pre-game Street Fest outside Dozer Park.
Homer's Pups Reading Program is in its fourth year as an off-shoot of Homer's Reading Program and provides benefits for children under the age of six who are in the early stages of developing reading skills. The program has over 3500 kids enrolled for the 2017 season. They earn prizes by reading their way around the bases and the home run prize is a free ticket to the Sunday, May 21 game against the Beloit Snappers.
"One of the earliest indicators of a child's future success is the number of words he or she hears prior to kindergarten," said Brian Ray, PNC regional president for Central Illinois. "Today with the Chiefs we are celebrating the success of the children who have reached their reading goals and we encourage family togetherness especially when they include reading."
This is the fourth year of the partnership between the Chiefs and PNC for the Homer's Pups Reading Program and the third year for the PNC Mobile Learning Adventure to be part of the Street Fest outside Dozer Park prior to the game. The Mobile Learning Adventure encourages family participation and focuses on education for preschool children. This year the Mobile Learning Adventure provides families with educational DVD's created by Sesame Workshop and children are able to take home a photo of them dressed up as what they would like to be when they grow up. The Street Fest, which on Oak Street is free and runs from Noon - 3:00 p.m. on May 21, also includes Barnyard Discoveries and inflatable activities from Fun on the Run for families.
"Days like the PNC Pre-K Day are some of the most rewarding days we have at the ballpark all summer," said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen. "Seeing these young kids running around, getting player autographs, taking photos with Homer and the Super Heroes, playing on the inflatables, having fun with their families and knowing they earned it by reading is what being part of this great community is all about and we couldn't do it without great corporate partners like PNC."
The game on the 21st begins at 2:00 p.m. with gates opening at 1:00 p.m. There will be an appearance by PBS character Natuue Cat and a player poster giveaway to the first 1000 fans presented by the PJStar and CityLink. Fans can play catch on the field after the game and Chiefs players will sign autographs for fans 12 and under from 1:10 - 1:30. After the game, kids 12 and under can run the bases. Kids 12 and under get $5 tickets and a free hot dog, chips and soda. Tickets are available online at www.peoriachiefs.com or at the Dozer Park Box Office (open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.