Welcome to the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation
When the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Club, led by Jake Kerr, Jeff Mooney, and Andy Dunn set out to develop our Foundation, the goal was simple; help as many of our local youth find self-confidence, hope, improved health, and a skill set that will help not just on a baseball diamond, but in life.
What began simply as a vision to provide underprivileged youth with an opportunity has now become much more. The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation (VCBF) has already begun the process of helping local children grow into student/athletes who can now focus on succeeding instead of concerning themselves with elements that are usually out of their control.
From helping a young child onto a baseball diamond perhaps for the first time, right through to helping a bright-minded student find a way to continue their post-secondary education, the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation is committed to our community and wants to ensure that your involvement helps redefine a child's perspective about life both on and off the field.
Who are we trying to connect with?
The Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation was developed with a vision of reaching children from all across the Lower Mainland and provide those in need with four key goals. We wanted to provide hope and opportunity through a number of different initiatives that you can read about below. From the creation of our Vancouver Canadians Baseball League that has now connected more than 2,500 hundred children with the game of baseball through to working from start-to-finish on the creation of Western Canada's first fully-accessible, synthetic baseball field specifically designed for children with physical and/or cognitive challenges - we have been determined to not just open the doors to our historic stadium located in the heart of Vancouver - but stand with these bright-minded children to provide guidance and security even when the world can ask too much from them.
Here's a brief look at what we have been doing with your generous donations.
Vancouver Canadians Baseball League
We understand that living in one of North America's most expensive city's that there are times when a family has to make some tough cost-cutting decisions that can affect the children within that household. The Vancouver Canadians Baseball League was created in 2009 to not only help children from all across the Lower Mainland discover the game of baseball but do so without any financial burden.
In cooperation with The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC, we have identified countless children between the ages of 7-13 and provided them with a complete summer baseball experience. Every single child receives;
* Transportation to-and-from historic Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium on game nights
* A specialized baseball pack that includes a glove, certified batting helmet, jersey with their own number and a bag to tote all of that gear in
* A nutritious, warm meal to enjoy between games
* The chance to play their entire summer baseball schedule on the same field the Vancouver Canadians play on
* The opportunity to work with our world-class volunteers and coaches that are on-site solely for each child regardless of skill level
From learning the fundamentals of the game too challenging themselves to get better over the course of the season, the Vancouver Canadians Baseball League is completely funded by our partners and donors allowing these bright-minded children with the opportunity to simply run around under the warm glow of the evening sun and just be a kid.
Variety Challenger Baseball Field of Dreams
Nothing beats hard work paying off.
When the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation struck a relationship up with Challenger Baseball, a program that was still in its infancy across the Lower Mainland, C's President Andy Dunn was quick to make good on his promise to make the league that was designed to provide opportunity for children with physical and/or cognitive challenges his priority. Fast forward nearly a decade and even those early, lofty expectations and promises have been met and in some instances exceeded thanks in large part to your generosity.
The Canadians started by making an annual donation of $20,000 to Challenger Baseball as well as ensuring that both staff, mascots and players would attend key events like their year-end jamboree. That commitment was followed by the idea of building Western Canada's first fully-accessible, synthetic baseball field specifically designed for players within the Challenger League. Instead of playing on bumpy, local surfaces - the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation in partnership with Variety - The Children's Charity, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and Jays Care took on the chance to create a Field of Dreams located just steps away from historic Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium.
In the Spring of 2017, the dream became a reality as the first players stepped onto the field thanks in large part to the generous donations of our partners and fans who came together to see this program through. It remains a privilege to walk past this fully-accessible field and see young future stars take to the field and watch as they smile and laugh simply enjoying the game of baseball.
Jeff Mooney & Suzanne Bolton Scholarship Program
In 2017, Canadians co-owner Jeff Mooney along with his wife Suzanne Bolton stepped forward with an opportunity that would change the lives of several children who showed a willingness and determination to seek education after high school. The Jeff Mooney and Suzanne Bolton Scholarship Program were created in cooperation with The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC where members who were in either Grade 11 or 12 could step forward and apply for one of five grants that could reach up-to-$15,000.
Last year, seven (7) scholarships were handed out to deserving students who wanted to pursue a wide variety of careers including hairdressing, law enforcement and general post-secondary studies as some still wanted to find a calling and hoped that they would discover it while staying in the classroom.
The selection committee includes Suzanne Bolton who works alongside The Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC to eventually determine who will receive these life-changing scholarships. Some of the criteria includes a willingness to do good in the community and progress to become better in the classroom. We are happy to say that all seven of those recipients from 2018 are still working towards their respective certificates and degrees.
To learn more about how children from within the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Coast BC can apply for the scholarship program, please contact:
Rob Fai, Director, Communications, 604.872.5232 ex 340 or [email protected]
The Change Up Field Project
Each year, the Vancouver Canadians Baseball Foundation in cooperation with The Cape Group will award two (2) baseball organizations within the Greater Vancouver District with a grant of $50,000 to refurbish the facility that they utilize within their community for amateur baseball.
Applicants must meet a number of criteria in order to be eligible for consideration. Please read the guidelines below to ensure your project meets the necessary criteria:
a) Self-development of youth increasing access to the sport of baseball
b) Developing life skills of all those who have access to the facility
c) Facility upgrades to allow for the inclusion of all youth to utilize the space regardless of ability
The Change-Up Project proposals may include, but are not limited to:
a) The building of new infrastructure benefitting the league and local community
b) Improving existing spaces to increase programming capacity, overall usage, safety, accessibility and inclusiveness for all participants.
The Change-Up Project Strike Zone:
Our goal is to provide assistance to local youth organizations that aspire to provide players of all abilities with an environment that combines inclusiveness with fair play. Whether your organization is looking to improve its playing surface or perhaps refurbish a concession or worn down dugouts and/or bleachers, The Change-Up Project was created to help local organizations positively impact their local community by creating a safe place for their youth to further develop themselves and baseball skills.