Major League Baseball and the Reds partner each year to celebrate ALS Awareness Day and to honor several individuals living with the disease. The Reds will host a special awareness day with the ALS Association of Central and Southern Ohio on Sunday, July 24, 2016.
In 2015, the Cincinnati Reds, Reds Community Fund and Pitch In For Baseball hosted the Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive which culminated at T-Mobile Fan Fest during All-Star Week. The joint effort helped supply equipment to underserved youth baseball and softball organizations. Pitch In For Baseball partnered with several local high schools and motivated area teams to donate by offering Reds incentives. More than 1,500 equipment and apparel items were collected.
In conjunction with the equipment drive, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded a grant of $5,000 to the Activities Beyond the Classroom (ABC) Foundation and Cincinnati Public Schools.
The 2016 Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive is scheduled for June 11, 2016 at Great American Ball Park.
Now in its 20th year, Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life is a baseball-themed character education program developed by Major League Baseball and Scholastic Inc. Using America's sport, baseball, as the metaphor for life, the curriculum is based on the values demonstrated by barrier breaker Jackie Robinson: Determination, Commitment, Persistence, Integrity, Justice, Courage, Teamwork, Citizenship, and Excellence. The Breaking Barriers essay contest requires students, grades 4 through 9, to submit an essay about barriers or obstacles they have faced or are still facing in their lives, and how they used the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson to deal with those obstacles. One grand prize winner grades 4-6 will attend the All-Star Game and another grand prize winner grades 7-9 will attend the World Series.
For additional information and rules of the Breaking Barriers essay contest, please visit www.scholastic.com/breakingbarriers
Major League Baseball, the Reds and the Prostate Cancer Foundation teamed-up in support of the "Keep Dad in the Game" initiative on Father's Day weekend. The Reds recognized the founder of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and survivor, Michael Milken, during a special pregame ceremony. The Reds also supported the "Home Run Challenge" by raising more than $16,000.
The Reds and Major League Baseball will once again recognize April 15 as the most significant moment in league history - the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. MLB sets this day aside in an effort to highlight the life, values and accomplishments of Jackie Robinson. All players throughout the league wear #42 on this day every year. The Reds will acknowledge the Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner recipient with a pre-game ceremony on April 18, 2016.
As America's national pastime, Major League Baseball has the social responsibility to support those who have truly made sacrifices on our behalf. Welcome Back Veterans was created to honor America's brave servicemen and women and help them make a successful transition back to civilian life.
The Reds will host five military appreciation days throughout the 2016 season, each supporting a military focused nonprofit or a branch of the military. For more information, please visit www.reds.com/military.
The Reds participate in Major League Baseball's "Go To Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative each year as a way to increase awareness and early detection and to raise funds to support research. In 2015, Melissa Rupert was named the Reds' Honorary Bat Girl contest winner and was honored for being a breast cancer survivor. During the game, players wore pink ribbons, wristbands and shoes and used pink bats in honor of breast cancer awareness.
In 2016, Mother's Day will be celebrated on May 8 at Great American Ball Park. To learn more about the Honorary Bat Girl contest and to nominate a family member or friend, please visit www.honorarybatgirl.com.
Major League Baseball and the American Academy of Dermatology partner for the annual Play Sun Smart program, which educates baseball fans on the dangers of sun exposure and brings awareness to skin cancer prevention and detection. Kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati delivered sunscreen to the dugouts and TriHealth nurses and dermatologists were recognized in a special pregame ceremony.
The 2016 Play Sun Smart Awareness Day will take place on Sunday, May 22 at Great American Ball Park.
Major League Baseball celebrates Roberto Clemente Day as a league-wide initiative to honor the legacy of the Hall of Famer's humanitarian efforts. Not long after recording his 3,000th career hit, Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Clemente exemplified baseball's unique responsibility as a social institution and its ability to improve people's lives.
In 2015, Chevy and Major League Baseball recognized Reds nominee, J.J. Hoover with a $7,500 donation to the charity of his choice, the Children's Home of Northern Kentucky. J.J. also supports organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Foundation, the Cincinnati Zoo and Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
In 2016, Roberto Clemente Day will be celebrated on Friday, June 3 at Great American Ball Park.
An MLB-sponsored free skills competition, Pitch, Hit & Run provides children ages 7 through 14 the opportunity to showcase their baseball skills. Team Championship events are hosted at all 30 Major League ballparks and the National Finals will be held at the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.
P.L.A.Y. (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) is a public awareness campaign that promotes an active lifestyle and warns against the dangers of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. The clinic is a collaboration between the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), Taylor Hooton Foundation, Henry Schein Cares Foundation and MLB Charities. The 2015 P.L.A.Y. Clinic featured 50 kids from local youth baseball and RBI teams and was hosted by Reds' Head Athletic Trainer, Paul Lessard and Reds outfielder, Jay Bruce.