Miscellaneous Pirates Community News & Notes
PIRATES COMMUNITY COMMITMENT PROGRAM
The Pirates Community Commitment Program is an organization-wide community service initiative for Pirates minor league players that promotes volunteerism and awareness, and provides benefit to the community, the individual, and the Pirates.
Near the conclusion of the minor league season, each affiliate selects one player to receive its Pirates Community Commitment Award. The honorees travel to Pittsburgh where they are recognized during a pregame on-field ceremony, before having the opportunity to watch a game from one of PNC Park's suites.
Pirates minor leaguers have completed more than 26,000 hours of community service since the Community Commitment Program was launched 10 years ago.
The 2017 honorees for each minor league affiliate were:
- Chris Bostick -- Indianapolis Indians
- Jonathan Schwind -- Altoona Curve
- Bret Helton and Daniel Zamora -- Bradenton Marauders
- Eduardo Vera -- West Virginia Power
- Shane Kemp -- West Virginia Black Bears
- Evan Piechota -- Bristol Pirates
- Vince Deyzel -- Gulf Coast League Pirates
- Ivan Rosario -- Dominican Summer League Pirates
PIRATES CHARITIES NIGHT ON AT&T SPORTSNET
Each year, AT&T SportsNet designates one Pirates home game as Pirates Charities Night. During this game, the Pirates' television broadcast partner donates all of the commercial time to feature Pirates Charities and the organizations it benefits.
In 2017, Pirates Charities Night took place on August 2 when the Pirates squared off against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park. The focus was on four local non-profit organizations that assist those living with cancer. Thanks to AT&T SportsNet and the generosity of Pirates fans, more than $1 million was raised to benefit Pirates Charities, the Cancer Caring Center, A Glimmer of Hope, Lending Hearts, and Our Clubhouse.
Each of the cancer-related organizations received $71,000 from Pirates Charities. Check presentations were made to the Cancer Caring Center at a Young Adults Support Group holiday dinner at La Tavola on Mt. Washington, A Glimmer of Hope at a fashion show for breast cancer survivors at Allegheny General Hospital, Lending Hearts at a party for kids and their families at Highmark SportsWorks at the Carnegie Science Center, and Our Clubhouse at a BBQ family dinner at their facility in the Strip District.
EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION AT FLIGHT 93 NATIONAL MEMORIAL
As a part of Educating the Next Generation at Flight 93 National Memorial -- a Pirates Charities sponsored program -- 500 students from regional school districts attended the Pirates game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on September 18. The students represented schools that have visited the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, PA, over the past two years and participated in this new educational program.
Members of the Families of Flight 93 and the Friends of Flight 93 National Memorial were also at the ballpark on September 18 to help raise awareness and stewardship for the Flight 93 National Memorial, and the programming initiatives aimed at educating the next generation about the courageous men and women of Flight 93 who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. Pirates Charities supported the Educating the Next Generation at Flight 93 National Memorial program with a financial contribution in 2017.
Pirates Charities partnered with LiveLikeLou, the Fox Chapel Area Baseball-Softball Association, Continental Building Co., and Indiana Township to break ground on LiveLikeLou Field in late September of last year. In addition to Pirates Charities providing a $50,000 financial contribution, the Pirates grounds crew volunteered their time to help get the field in major league condition.
The goal is that the field, named for baseball great Lou Gehrig, will help inspire youth and community members by creating more awareness about Gehrig's legacy and his battle with ALS. Neil and Suzanne Alexander established LiveLikeLou in Pittsburgh in 2011 when Neil was diagnosed with ALS. The fund was designed to support scientific research targeted at finding a cure for ALS and to provide care and comfort to ALS patients in Western PA.
Neil Alexander died on March 24, 2015 at the age of 49. His wife Suzanne continues to push the mission of LikeLikeLou forward.
PIRATES CHARITIES GOLF CLASSIC
The 2017 Pirates Charities Golf Classic took place at Fox Chapel Golf Club on September 21. The event, presented by Allegheny Health Network, raised $145,000. Pirates President Frank Coonelly and Dr. Patrick DeMeo, chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery for Allegheny Health Network, served as co-chairmen of the annual fundraiser.
Pirates players such as Jordy Mercer, Adam Frazier, George Kontos and A.J. Schugel golfed with sponsors and fans who purchased foursomes, as did former Pirates Steve Blass, Elroy Face, Bob Friend, Rick Reuschel, Kent Tekulve, John Wehner and others. Chad Kuhl, David Freese, Ray Searage, Joey Cora and Grant Jackson also stopped by to mingle with the golfers and enjoy the festivities.