Before every Tuesday home game at Tropicana Field, the Rays host a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation or Children's Dream Fund at the ballpark as a part of a special program called "Tuesday's Champion." Tuesday's Champion, presented by RIPA, invites the kids, along with their families, to be on the field during batting practice where they can meet and interact with Rays players and coaches. They are then treated to dinner in the Rays Club before taking the field and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Along with these experiences, they are also given a personalized jersey and a bat. The children selected for the program are battling life-threatening illnesses and many come straight from the hospital for this special experience.
The Rays proudly partner with Tampa General Hospital, Moffitt Cancer Center and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital to bring players, coaches and mascots several times throughout the season to raise the spirits of patients and their families.
The Erik Walker Community Champion Award annually recognizes Rays minor league players who exemplify teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement, attributes exhibited by Rays minor league pitcher Erik Walker, who died tragically in October 2006. Each player chooses a nonprofit organization to receive a donation from the Rays Baseball Foundation.
Rays Wives Programs
Throughout the baseball season, the Rays Wives plan and participate in various community events benefitting local organizations of their choice. More information >
On Saturday, June 30, 2018 the Rays Wives hosted and participated in a charity spin class with 100% of the proceeds benefiting CASA St. Petersburg. CASA provides safety, empowerment and prevention programs to end domestic violence. More information >
On Sunday, May 12, 2019, the Rays Wives teamed up with 10News WTSP and Feeding Tampa Bay to fight child hunger by hosting a Cereal for Summer donation drive at Tropicana Field. Cereal for Summer is aimed to help feed struggling families during the summer. When school breaks for the summer, so do free or reduced cost school meals. The Rays Wives, 10News and Feeding Tampa Bay volunteers collected easy to prepare breakfast items for the 1 in 4 children in Tampa Bay who struggle with hunger each day. The Cereal for Summer drive at Tropicana Field produced 13,242 meals for Feeding Tampa Bay!
On September 16, 2018, during Rays Dog Day, the Rays Wives hosted a pet food drive and charity raffle, benefiting Pet Pal Animal Shelter and SPCA Tampa Bay.
The Rays on the Runway Fashion Show is an annual event that hosts players and coaches who are paired with their significant other or a child participating from the Children's Dream Fund, an organization that fulfills dreams for seriously ill children. The couples walk the runway and model the season's newest fashions. The event raises over $100,000 annually for the Children's Dream Fund.
Rays on the Runway 2019 returns on July 21!
On April 22, 2019, the Rays Wives visited the Ronald McDonald St. Pete East House. They served lunch to the families and played with the children on their playground that the Rays renovated in 2018. The Ronald McDonald House Charities Tampa Bay provides meals, accommodations and support to over 2,000 families a year that have a child receiving medical treatment in a nearby hospital. More information >