News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
March 04, 2011

Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
laf@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842



Miami-Dade Parks Gets Boost from Major League Baseball Partners


(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
Thanks to the Florida Marlins' sponsorship and a generous grant from Major League Baseball (MLB), more than 100 junior T-ball and baseball players, ages 6-14, from underserved neighborhoods in the County's south region, will sport brand new uniforms and equipment as they pitch, hit, and run bases during the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department's (MDPR) second annual Junior RBI Midseason Jamboree (RBI-Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), taking place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 9, at West Perrine Park, 10301 SW 170 Terrace, Miami.

All youngsters participating in the Jamboree are enrolled in MDPR's Fit-to-Play: Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention Out-of-School Program and Optimist leagues at West Perrine Park, Sgt. Joseph Delancy Park, Eureka Park and Colonial Drive Park.  These four MDPR sites were selected to receive the Baseball Tomorrow Fund/ MLB Equipment Day Grant totaling $2,500 through a joint initiative of MLB and the MLB Players Association to promote the growth of youth participation in baseball and softball.

"This funding is critical as it provides these young athletes with the necessary tools to continue to play a sport they truly love, which otherwise would be beyond their means," said MDPR South Region Manager Renae Nottage. "With the support of program partners, such as the Florida Marlins and our Major League Baseball initiatives, we continue to build bridges, even in the face of a challenging economy."

In addition to the youth baseball games, the Junior RBI Midseason Jamboree will be an outing for the entire family, filled with music and fun activities, including a bounce house and a prize-wheel, courtesy of the Florida Marlins.  Spectators are welcome to bring along lawn chairs and, or a blanket, as well as a picnic lunch.  Beverages will be available for purchase.

Admission is free.  For directions to the event or additional information, the public can call West Perrine Park at 305-235-2053.

About the Florida Marlins' Jr. RBI Program
In 2009, Major League Baseball launched the Jr. RBI playing divisions of the RBI program to provide opportunities for young people ages 5 to 12 in underserved communities to play baseball and softball. This program is designed to promote interest in baseball, academic achievement and social responsibility. The Marlins organize and supply the RBI league with uniforms, umpires, field usage and equipment for nearly 400 children. The Marlins RBI program's inaugural season was this past year in 2010. The program replaced the Mini Marlins league that had been in place from 2003 and provided kids ages 6-12 the opportunity to play baseball through the City of Miami Parks and Recreation. Jr. RBI will serve as a feeder program to the RBI league and provide an avenue for kids to begin playing baseball and softball at a younger age. This past season 24 teams made up the Jr. RBI leagues, allowing over 400 kids to participate. Major League Baseball invited Marlins RBI to participate in the 2nd Annual Jr. RBI Classic where one regular season team was invited to Anaheim during the All-Star break to take part in a non-competitive tournament, as well as enjoy the All-Star festivities including attending the Home Run Derby. For more information, visit the Florida Marlins' web site: http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/fla/community/programs_bb.jsp

 About the Baseball Tomorrow Fund
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is designed to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball throughout the world by awarding grants to support field renovation and construction projects, equipment and uniform purchases, coaches training material and other selected program expenses.  Since its formation by MLB and the MLB Players Association in 1999, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded over 450 grants totaling more than $17 million to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations across the U.S. and around the world. Approximately 180,000 youth players have benefited from programs and facilities supported by the fund.  For more information, visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.

About MDPR's Fit-to-Play Health, Wellness & Obesity Prevention Out-of-School Program
As with Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign, MDPR's Fit-to-Play: Health, Wellness and Obesity Prevention Out-of-School Program for children ages 6-14, incorporates physical activity with interactive learning , to help them  develop healthy lifestyles and good citizenship, during after-school hours and days spent out of school on breaks, when many working parents are unable to supervise their kids or afford daycare services. Each day's session begins with homework help, followed by SPARK (Sports, Play and Active Recreation for Kids) an evidenced-based, outcome-oriented active recreation component of the Out-of School program. SPARK is dedicated to improving the quantity and quality of physical activity for children, focusing on activities that develop and improve motor skills, movement knowledge, and social and personal skills.

About MDPR
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the National Gold Medal Award, 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award winner for excellence in management and operations, MDPR is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about MDPR the public can call 3-1-1 or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks.


 

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