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Events & Initiatives

Awareness Series

LogoThe Pittsburgh Pirates invited fans throughout the 2013 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

Group photos

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 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.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were proud to welcome 50 children to PNC Park on April 26, 2011 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!

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Clemente Day: Pirates visit Pittsburgh Spring Hill K-5

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The entire Pirates team, joined by members of the Pirates coaching and front office staff, commemorated Clemente Day with a visit to Pittsburgh Spring Hill K-5 Elementary School on September 17, 2013.

Each year, in partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Promise, Pirates Charities selects a school in need of supplies and equipment to receive a donation in celebration of the life and community service legacy of Pirates Hall-of-Famer, Roberto Clemente. This year, presenters from the Carnegie Science Center held a brief educational demonstration of "The Science of Baseball," where several Pirates Players, including Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, participated in demonstrations.

The Pirates hand-delivered over $40,000 worth of school supplies and recreation equipment purchased by Pirates Charities, including iPads, book bags, Roberto Clemente books and more. Students also had the opportunity to hear Vera Clemente, Goodwill Ambassador for Major League Baseball and widow of the late Roberto Clemente, along with her sons Luis and Ricky, speak about the importance of giving back to the community.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Initiative

Event photos
The Pirates and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh came together to create supply kits for three local shelters.

On August 23, 2011, the Pirates and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh partnered for a Domestic Violence Awareness event at the YWCA. Additional partners included three local domestic violence shelters including Alle-Kiskee Area HOPE Center, Inc., Crisis Center North, and Womansplace, Inc. 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, over 200 supply kits were stuffed for the shelters by Pirates players, wives and other guests. Items included: soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrushes and dental Floss. Pirates player Michael McKenry and two players wives pitched in during the event to assist in the community.

The Pirates also hosted Domestic Violence Awareness Night in conjunction with the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh at PNC Park on September 7. During the game, our partner organizations were recognized on field for their amazing efforts throughout the community around domestic violence.

Event photo
The Parrot and YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh CEO Maggie Jensen pose for a photo with the representatives from the three shelters.

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Pirates Family Fun Run/Walk for Epilepsy

Pirates Pitcher Tony Watson was the 2011 Honorary Chair of the 23rd annual Epilepsy Family Fun/Run Walk at PNC Park. The event raised $170,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western/Central Pennsylvania.

Photos

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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 2011, Pirates Charities once again supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern 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 6. Before the game, the group of 140 gathered in the Trib Total Media Hall of Fame Club to recognize the accomplishments of the 21 scholarship recipients in attendance. Attendees also enjoyed a ballpark buffet on the Deck at PNC 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 Brittany Youngman also joined the group on the field.

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

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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 are partnering to host several blood drives at PNC Park in 2014. Please check back for information about the next drive.

Autographs photo
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, more than 200 students in Allegheny County participated in the program by reading books over the summer and completing a book report. All kids who achieved their goals were entered into a contest where the winners were given the opportunity to attend a Pirates home game, attend a special story time with Pirates catcher Michael McKenry and the Pirate Parrot for a reading of "Casey at the Bat", and receive a Pirates goody bag.

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Pirates Winter Coaches Clinics - January, February and March 2013

Autographs photo
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 conducted the Hitting Clinic, while Pirates Alumnus Grant Jackson conducted the Fielding and Pitching/Throwing Clinics.

For questions and inquiries regarding the Pirates Winter Coaches Clinics, please contact Chaz Kellem at (412) 325-4731.

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"Pitch for Hope" Women's Baseball Clinic - June 30, 2013

Clinic PhotosThe Pirates hosted the "Pitch for Hope" Women's Baseball Clinic at PNC Park on June 30, 2013. 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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Players visiting Pittsburgh children

Throughout the season, Pirates players visit and work with children in different settings and events around the greater Pittsburgh region.

Hospital photos

Many players enjoy taking the time in to help brighten the days and put smiles on the faces of these children.

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Pirates 65 Roses Club, to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Event photos
Top - The Pirate Parrot collects his roses. Bottom - Greg Brown and Steve Blass host the 65 Roses Club.

The Pirates, along with broadcasters Greg Brown and Steve Blass, hosted two 65 Roses Club nights at PNC Park during the 2012 baseball season. The events were to benefit 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 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 contact Max Flessner at (412) 321-4422 Ext. 15.

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UMPS CARE Charities

Event photo

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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Pirates Wives Serve Dinner at Family House

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Wives photo
The Pirates Wives with a young girl staying at the Family House.

Deb Coonelly, Becca Huntington, Jamie Russell, Renee Lopez, Kim Donovan (Joel Hanrahan's girlfriend) and Jessica Wade (Evan Meek's girlfriend) prepared and served a homecooked meal to 60 members of the Shadyside Family House.

Family House, a non-profit corporation operated by a voluntary board of directors, provides a special "home away from home" for patients and/or families who must travel to Pittsburgh for treatment of serious or life-threatening illnesses. Thanks to the generosity and support of the Pittsburgh community, Family House is able to provide a comfortable haven to help our guests through stressful times.

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