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Events & Initiatives

Awareness Series

LogoThe Pittsburgh Pirates invited fans throughout the 2014 season to join us at PNC Park for our Awareness Series. The Pirates partnered with different non-profit service agencies throughout the region to host special events to raise funds and awareness for their specific causes.

Each organization generated revenue through the sale of Pirates tickets for their cause and utilized PNC Park to promote their organization's message.

If your organization would like to become involved with the Pirates Awareness Series, please contact Chaz Kellem at (412) 325-4731.

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Buses for Baseball

The Pittsburgh Pirates were proud to welcome 50 children to PNC Park on July 22, 2014 for the Buses for Baseball program. The children were escorted into the ballpark to watch the Pirates take batting practice before anyone else was allowed in the park!

The Buses for Baseball program gives underprivileged kids throughout the United States and Canada the chance to attend a Major League baseball games and meet the players. The Players Trust (MLBPA) partners with local transit authorities and Major League teams, as well as charitable organizations in all Major League cities, to share the thrill of a big league game with kids who need more chances to smile.

At each ballpark, kids are welcomed by players who spend time signing autographs, giving away souvenirs and posing for photographs. Complimentary food and soft drinks during the game -- and often the chance to see their own faces on the scoreboard -- provide lasting memories before the bus heads home.

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Clemente Day: Pirates visit Banksville Elementary

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On Wednesday, September 17, the Pittsburgh Pirates visited Banksville Elementary School, a Pittsburgh Public School, as part of our annual Roberto Clemente Day Celebration. During the event, Pirates Players and Coaches hand-delivered $40,000 in school supplies and recreational equipment donated by Pirates Charities including: Apple TV's; two-way radios for in-classroom use; a book bag for each student filled with Pirates items, a Roberto Clemente children's book and an at-home study kit; fitness packs for each student that included a baseball glove, Frisbee, jump rope, water bottle and two types of baseballs. In addition, the school received recess equipment including baseball tees, bases, bats, baseballs and softballs; Field Day supplies; bicycles and helmets; a specially designed Clemente/Banksville tee shirt for all students, staff and faculty; a new library cart filled with books for the library; playground stencils and much more!

As part of the visit, the children attended an all-school assembly, emceed by Pirates broadcaster Tim Neverett. The Clemente Family was in attendance and Roberto Clemente Junior spoke to the students about the importance of giving back and of his father's legacy. For the second consecutive year, the Pirates partnered with the Carnegie Science Center, who presented the "Science of Baseball" during the assembly. Pirates Corporate Partner Chick-Fil-A provided and served a complimentary lunch to the more than 290 children of the school.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Initiative

On August 26, 2014, the Pirates and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh partnered for a Domestic Violence Awareness event at the YWCA. Additional partners included five local domestic violence shelters including Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center, Inc., Crisis Center North, Center for Victims, the YWCA Women's Resource Center and Living in Liberty, a shelter for human trafficking survivors. At the event, local domestic violence organizations were on hand with resource tables for guests to learn about programs, services, and resources available in the region.

In addition, 400 supply kits were stuffed for the shelters by Pirates Catchers Russell Martin and Chris Stewart, their wives, the Pirates Pierogies and other guests. Items included: soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrushes and dental floss.

Pirates partner organizations, for their amazing efforts throughout the community around domestic violence, were also given Pirates tickets to provide to those in which they serve.

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Epilepsy Family Fun/Run Walk

The Pittsburgh Pirates once again joined the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania (EFWCP) to host the 26th Annual Pirates Family Fun Run/Walk for Epilepsy at PNC Park. This year's event took place on Saturday, July 19, 2014. Pirates Pitcher Jared Hughes was featured as the Honorary Chair along with WTAE's News Anchor and Sports Director, Andrew Stockey and comedian, Jimmy Krenn. The event raised over $150,000 to support the EFWCP's mission to lead the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy. The day began with a 5k run/2 mile walk course that winded through our beautiful city. Participants were then invited to attend a one-of-a-kind tailgate party, where they enjoyed food and beverages from local sponsors. Prizes were awarded to the teams and individuals that raised the most money.

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Fantasy Baseball Math Program

PhotoThe Pirates have introduced the Fantasy Baseball Math Program in classrooms within the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Fantasy Baseball is an integrated math program for students in grades 4-8 and is aligned with the Pennsylvania State Exams in the areas of mathematics, reading and physical education. Students learn mathematics skills through baseball statistics in a way that is fun and engaging. Students also create player cards and compete against one another in simulated baseball games. The program promotes higher order science, technology, engineering and math skills (STEM), in preparation for math-based careers.

Learn more about the Fantasy Baseball Math Program »

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Make-A-Wish Foundation Scholarship Program

In 2014, Pirates Charities once again supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia with a donation to the annual "Kurt R. Weiss Scholarship for Wish Children" program, which was created in 1998 to help motivate wish children to pursue their post-high school educational ambitions.

In addition to financial support, Pirates Charities also hosted a group of scholarship recipients and their families and friends to a night at the ballpark on Friday, May 9. Before the game, the group of 160 gathered in the Pirates Press Conference Room to recognize the accomplishments of the 25 scholarship recipients in attendance. Attendees also enjoyed a ballpark buffet in Picnic Park. Then, the scholarship recipients who attended the event proceeded to the field where they were recognized for their accomplishments by Team President Frank Coonelly. Make-A-Wish President/CEO Judi Stone and Development Coordinator Andrea Ballas also joined the group on the field.

Learn more about the Make-A-Wish Foundation Scholarship Program »

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Be a Mount Rushmore. Be a Mentor.

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The Pirates teamed up with The Mentoring Partnership, a lead local resource on mentoring that provides assistance to more than 150 youth programs, to celebrate mentoring at PNC Park. More than 350 individuals from 18 different mentoring programs converged on PNC Park on May 5-6, 2014, to highlight the positive impact mentoring has on our community and the variety of programs that are available for our kids.

In a special on-field salute, local programs Carebreak, Foster Grandparents, Gwen's Girls and Prospect Park Refugee Youth Mentoring Program were honored for their dedication to quality mentoring. To keep the celebration going, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle and players Clint Barmes, Justin Wilson and Josh Harrison sounded off on the importance of mentoring.

Last year, more than 26,000 kids were mentored through programs in Southwestern PA. But there are still 800+ kids on waiting lists for a mentor. To learn more or get involved, visit www.MentoringPittsburgh.org.

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Miracle League Fantasy Camp - June 29, 2013

The Pirates hosted a Miracle League Fantasy Camp at the Bill Mazeroski Miracle League Field in Murrysville, PA for children with special needs. Pirates players, coaches, and front office executives helped conduct the camp, including pitchers Tony Watson, Bryan Morris, Jared Hughes and their wives, manager Clint Hurdle and his family, along with Pirates Executives, Bob Nutting and Frank Coonelly.

The fantasy camp's focus was to provide youth with special needs the opportunity to learn and play the game of baseball while being able to provide a similar experience to Major League Baseball camps and clinics. Forty children from the four regional Miracle Leagues - Southwestern PA (Cranberry), South Hills (Upper St. Clair), Western PA (Murrysville) and the Ohio Valley (Wheeling, WV) - were on hand to take part in the camp.

The mission of the Miracle League of Western PA in Murrysville is "Every child deserves to play!" At the camp, the youth took part in five activity stations, led by Pirates celebrities, that worked on hitting, throwing and catching skills. Each child also received their own Pirates jersey, complete with their name on the back, and were treated to a delicious lunch.

The event was sponsored by Pirates Charities and Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids. Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids is an organization headed up by Denver resident Jeremy Flug that provides funding for these types of fantasy camps throughout the US. This is the fourth year that Pirates Charities has worked with Mr. Flug, who was also in attendance for the camp.

Learn more about the Pirates Charities Miracle League Field »

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Central Blood Bank's Pirates Blood Drives

The Pirates and Central Blood Bank partnered to host several blood drives at PNC Park in 2014. Please check back for information about the next drive.

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Pirates alum Kent Tekulve signed autographs at a Blood Drive in the Press Conference Room.

Donating blood is important as each individual whole blood donor can make a difference by saving up to three lives. Last year, more than 1,000 units were donated at Pirates Blood Drives, helping to save more than 3,000 lives in the Pittsburgh region. For more information, please call 1-866-DONORS-1 (1-866-366-6771), or visit centralbloodbank.org.

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Pirates Charities CARE-a-van

logoThe 2013 Pirates Charities CARE-a-van, presented by Highmark, visited 15 cities over three days to make a significant impact in surrounding Pittsburgh communities. The community tour took place from December 11-13 and culminated with the 2013 PirateFest, the Pirates-themed indoor baseball carnival at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center that took place on Saturday, December 14 and Sunday, December 15.

The 2013 Pirates CARE-a-van took part in more than 25 community events over three days as three busses consisting of players, coaches and broadcasters departed from PNC Park on Wednesday, December 11 and returned on Friday, December 13. The CARE-a-van participated in community events with area non-profits and schools throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

Learn more about the Pirates Charities CARE-a-van »

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Pirates Tales

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The Pirates and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh teamed up for another season of Pirates Tales, a program that encourages kids to set reading goals during the summer months and read their way all the way to PNC Park!

Just like going to Pirates games, students from the entire Greater Pittsburgh Area make reading part of their summer tradition. Pirates Tales, a community outreach program designed to promote literacy skills, is a great way for kids to strengthen their reading skills and have fun at the same time.

This year, the Pirate Parrot attended the Kickoff Party at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on May 29, 2014. More than 200 students throughout Allegheny County participated in the program by reading books over the summer and completing a book report.

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"Pitch for Hope" Women's Baseball Clinic - May 25, 2014

Clinic PhotosThe Pirates hosted the "Pitch for Hope" Women's Baseball Clinic at PNC Park on May 25, 2014. Proceeds benefit Glimmer of Hope, a Pittsburgh area based organization funding the only under-40 breast cancer study in the country.

Women ages 14 and older were invited to learn hitting, pitching, and fielding from Pirates coaches and players on the playing field at PNC Park. There was also a catered brunch at the ballpark. All participants received a commemorative T-Shirt and there was a raffle featuring autographed memorabilia.

Learn more »

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Pirates 65 Roses Club, Benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Pirates, along with broadcasters Greg Brown and Steve Blass, hosted two 65 Roses Club nights at PNC Park during the 2014 baseball season. The events benefitted the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and took place before each game.

The 65 Roses Club is a group of Pirates fans who have joined together to raise funds to fight cystic fibrosis. By making a pledge to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for every home run the Pirates hit, these fans have the opportunity to meet Pirates players, including Jared Hughes, Tony Watson and Clint Barmes this season, at private pre-game receptions. After the receptions, everyone can enjoy the game to cheer on the Bucs!

The club gets its name from the way a child often learns to say "cystic fibrosis," which sounds like "sixty-five roses." It is a national sports program supported by teams in all areas of athletics, including baseball, football, basketball, hockey and soccer, to help raise funds to fight cystic fibrosis.

For complete information about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the 65 Roses Club, contact Sarah Steele at 412-321-4422 or ssteele@cff.org.

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UMPS CARE Charities

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The Pittsburgh Pirates partner with Major League Baseball umpires to offer memorable baseball game experiences for children awaiting adoption and at-risk youth in mentoring programs.

Children receive a VIP experience including great seats to see the Pirates at PNC Park, a goody bag of 'all things baseball', and the unique opportunity to step onto the field for a souvenir baseball and photo.

UMPS CARE Charities, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded by Major League Baseball umpires, created the BLUE Crew Tickets program to share the gift of baseball with children and strengthen relationships between children and the adults who aim to make a difference in their lives.

More than 4,000 guests have participated in BLUE Crew Tickets since 2006. Learn more at www.UmpsCare.com.

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2014 Winter Coaches Clinics: January, February & March

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Pirates alumnus and current broadcaster John Wehner with local youth baseball and softball coaches, who attended the Hitting Clinic.

The Pittsburgh Pirates Winter Coaches Clinics are facilitated by former Pittsburgh Pirates players to educate local youth baseball and softball coaches on techniques and strategies to be effective on and off the field.

This year, the clinics took place once a month in January, February and March, and focused on hitting, fielding, and pitching/throwing.

Pirates Alumnus and Current Broadcaster John Wehner directed the Hitting Clinic, while Pirates Alumnus Grant Jackson conducted the Pitching/Throwing Clinic and Chris Peters managed the Fielding Clinic.

Testimonials:

"I have enjoyed the clinics, all of the Bucco Alumni Players and Coaches have extended their knowledge and love for the game in a way that I hope to pass on to my players and their families. The sessions have been informative and engaging, the information I have taken with me will be invaluable to our Little League teams and to me as a father, coach and mentor." - Robert Keslar, Homer City

"Thank you for the coaches clinics. John and Grant were not only excellent in their teachings but their energy and passion has inspired me to be a better coach to the young boys and girls in my community." - Craig Brain, GBWAA

"I enjoyed all three clinics and I plan on using the information to help build a more fundamentally strong baseball team." - Nick Pezzuolo, Cranberry Township

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