The Phillies players take pride in their on-field accomplishments but they are equally as proud of the positive work that they are doing to give back to the community. Each year individual players take part in special meet and greets both at Citizens Bank Park and in the community.
Many players host their own ticketing program that allows them to meet with deserving organizations. Others have their own foundations to support causes close to their hearts.
We invite you to learn about what the Phillies players are doing to give back to the community that gives so much to them.
On Friday, May 30th Ryne and Margaret Sandberg launched their new charitable ticket program, Sandberg's Squad, as they hosted patients from Nemours Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children. They then invited a group of patients and their families from Shriner's Hospital for Children to the game on Saturday, June 14. Each group enjoyed batting practice on-field where they met with Sandberg. Additionally, all received concessions and a keepsake T-shirt.
Ryne and his wife Margaret are passionate about providing food to those in need. The Sandbergs felt an instant connection to the Phans Feeding Families initiative which raises awareness for the need to collect food and raise funds to combat hunger in the Delaware Valley where nearly 1 million people go hungry. Currently in its fourth year, the initiative is a partnership between the Phillies and Citizens Bank, is supported by Phillies sponsors Goya, ShopRite, The Jewish Federation, Hatfield, Aramark and SEPTA and benefits Philabundance, the region's largest hunger relief organization.
The Sandberg's also volunteer their time to assist area shelters and soup kitchens and various Phillies Charities efforts.
Domonic Brown focuses on living a healthy life and feels that it is important to share that information with the next generation of baseball players. He has taken part in the Phillies PLAY (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) Clinic to discuss his exercise routine and what he eats to stay healthy.
He has also taken part in the Phillies Phitness educational program which shares with students in grades K-12 the importance of making smart food choices at an early age.
In 2008, Cole and his wife Heidi founded The Hamels Foundation with a focus on enhancing academic opportunities for children in Philadelphia, across the United States and internationally. Their hope is that through their foundation the lives of children will be enriched by giving them the tools to achieve their goals. The Hamels Foundation has a dual purpose to provide support for quality education in the United States and establish a school in Malawi, Africa.
As an extension of the Hamels Foundation mission, on May 30, Cole and Heidi Hamels awarded grants totaling $50,000 to six Philadelphia-area schools. The grants will provide 3D Printers for West Philadelphia High School, math curriculum for Overbrook Elementary, a school-wide literacy program for Highland Park Elementary, classroom projectors for Tilden Middle School, physical education equipment for Kensington Multiplex High School and a STEM Lab for St. Jerome School. The Hamels Foundation believes that these investments will provide significant improvement to the quality of students' lives and learning.
In order to raise funds the Foundation holds a number of events over the course of the year. Next up is Thursday, August 21's Diamonds and Denim event. The event includes a three-course dinner, dessert, silent and live auctions and a private concert by seven-time Grammy winner, Lady Antebellum. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Kelly@thehamelsfoundation.org.
Cole Hamels created Hamels' Heroes in 2011 to show his appreciation to the servicemen and women who sacrifice each day to protect our freedom. The charitable ticket program provides U.S. Military active and retired veterans and their families with Phillies game tickets, concession coupons and T-Shirts. Several groups will have the unique opportunity to watch batting practice on the field. Thus far hundreds of active and retired military and their families have benefited from the Hamels' Heroes program.
Hamels was awarded the Phillies Community Service Award in 2009 in recognition of his outstanding charitable contributions. He also was the Phillies award recipient for the Roberto Clemente Award in 2009.
Last year Ryan and his wife Krystle founded The Ryan Howard Big Piece Foundation which is dedicated to improving the lives of children by promoting academic and athletic development. The Foundation's goal is to engage students in essential area of literacy thus leading them on a path to a brighter future.
As an extension of the Foundation's mission Ryan's Reading Challenge was developed to engage students in reading. Vare-Washington Elementary School in South Philadelphia was selected as the recipient school of the very first "Big Piece" grant. Students in kindergarten through third grade were challenged to read for twenty minutes a day, seven days a week. With the support of the school's 4th and 5th grade students, as well as faculty, staff and parents, the students surpassed their reading goals! The Foundation rewarded their efforts by fulfilling the school's "Missing Piece" wish of a baseball themed reading center equipped with hundreds of books, 25 iPads and five desktop computers. Both Ryan and Krystle Howard were on hand to unveil Howard's Homeroom and to remind students that, "Today a reader, tomorrow a leader."
Last season the Howards hosted their first Stand up for Literacy event. This year's event will be held on August 4 at the Franklin Institute and will benefit Philadelphia area students by acting as a fundraiser for the next "Big Piece" grant. For event sponsorship opportunities contact standupforliteracy@ therhbigpiecefoundation.org or call 215-302-2001.
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Ryan Howard introduced Howard's Sluggers for children participating in PAL (Police Athletic League) activities. Howard meets with the children prior to batting practice and provides game tickets, T-shirts and concessions.
Ryan was the 2011 Phillies Community Service Award winner and the local Roberto Clemente Jr. Award recipient.
Ryan received an Honorary Badge from the Philadelphia Police Athletic League during "PAL Night at the Phillies" in August 2008, recognizing his community service.
Cliff Lee each season hosts Lee's VIPs to bring deserving children and patients from local organizations to a game. Lee provides tickets, T-shirts and food concessions.
Lee made a $1 million donation, in honor of their son Jaxon, to Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH) to fund an endowed chair in pediatric hematology/oncology. Jaxon battled cancer (acute myeloid leukemia -AML) at ACH as an infant.
Jonathan Papelbon supports local youth through his Papelbon's Pen program that launched in 2012. Through this program, Jonathan provides children in foster care, such as those residing at The Children's Home of Reading, with game tickets, t-shirts and concessions so they can enjoy a memorable group outing at a Phillies game.
In 2012, Carlos Ruiz introduced his Chooch's Chicos ticket program. Through this program Ruiz invites children from local Latino organizations to Phillies games and provides t-shirts and concessions. Groups benefiting include ACLAMO Family Centers, Concilio Summer Youthworks, National Stop The Violence Alliance, Inc. and Congreso De Latinos. Carlos also meets individually with the children and teens during batting practice.
Carlos Ruiz annually hosts the "Get in the Game" bowling tournament to benefit Philadelphia Futures; an organization that provides the City's economically disadvantaged, college-bound students with programs and resources leading up to and throughout college. Supporting Ruiz and the event are members of the Phillies family including Phillies President and CEO David Montgomery, Ruben Amaro, Jr., Phillies Manager, Ryne Sandberg and many teammates and coaches. The 2014 event raised more than $170,000, and since the partnership with Philadelphia Futures began 14 years ago the Phillies have helped raise more than $1.7 million to support students across Philadelphia.
The Utley Foundation was established by Chase and his wife Jen, to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty. The Foundation's mission is to educate the community in the proper treatment of animals and raise funds for the fight against animal neglect, pain and suffering.
In 2011, The Utley Foundation, the Pennsylvania SPCA and the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program began a tradition of inviting students to help design murals that incorporate the theme of preventing animal abuse.
On May 30, 2013 Chase Utley and his wife Jennifer were joined by students at Universal Vare Charter Middle School to announce the creation of a third mural in their series, "Be Kind to Animals." The murals are created in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Utleys collaborated with artist David Gunn for a mural located on the Care Recreation Facility at 2600 Morris Street in Philadelphia.
On September 27, 2012, the Utleys dedicated their second annual "Be Kind to Animals" themed mural, presented by the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and the Utley Foundation. The mural, which promotes the proper care and treatment of animals, is located at McVeigh Recreation Center in Philadelphia.
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In 2011 the invited students of Anna B. Pratt Elementary School to participate in poster, essay, and photo contests that asked children to express feelings and personal stories about animals. Winners from each contest had their image incorporated into the "kindness to animals" themed mural which was designed by artist Willis Humphrey and unveiled on June 7, 2011 on a wall at 22nd and Dauphin Streets.
Utley, as part of his Chase's Champs program, annually spends over $23,000 to purchase season tickets to benefit patients from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
Since 2006 Chase has served as the chairman of the Phillies Jr. RBI/RBI Leagues which provide at risk children with the opportunity to play both baseball and softball. Chase has met with participants to give baseball tips, answer questions and help hand out gloves to those without one. Chase also has joined forces with Jr. RBI sponsor Citizens Bank to encourage fans to donate new and gently used gloves at the Citizens Bank Park kiosk in Ashburn Alley during every home game to benefit Jr. RBI participants.
Chase has also helped grant the wishes of several children suffering from serious illness, by meeting them through the through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Chase also supports Philadelphia Futures, a mentoring program for inner-city students and generously donates his time during the baseball season to participate in various events to raise funds for Phillies Charities, Inc.