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.
During the 2019 season, for every home run Rays infielder Brandon Lowe hit, he and his wife, Madison, donated $100 to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The Rays Baseball Foundation also contributed $100 per home run in support of Lowe's "Home Runs for Hope" campaign. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay provides a range of programs and services to ensure that no one in the community has to face a crisis alone. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year as the community gateway to help. People who are struggling with a variety of crisis situations including sexual assault or abuse, domestic violence, financial distress, substance abuse, medical emergency, suicidal thoughts and other emotional or situational problems can connect to hope and healing.
The Rays proudly partner with Moffitt Cancer Center and local hospitals to bring players, coaches and mascots several times throughout the season to raise the spirits of patients and their families.
With a $25,000 donation to the Children's Dream Fund, Kevin Kiermaier , and his wife, Marisa, fulfilled the dreams of six children - "Kiermaier's Kids" - who are living with life threatening illnesses. The Kiermaier's Kids' dreams included meeting Mickey Mouse, visiting Disney World to meet the princesses, setting sail on a Disney cruise, attending a Queen concert, a full car makeover and a new, fully equipped tool shed. More Info >
As part of the Lowe's Legends program, Brandon Lowe , and his wife, Madison, host local youth baseball and softball teams for batting practice and provide them tickets to the games. During batting practice, the teams have the opportunity to meet Brandon and Madison and learn about their experiences through baseball and softball. In addition, the Lowes hosted a baseball and softball clinic at Tropicana Field. More info >
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.
For the past two years, during Spring Training, the Rays Wives have taken on the Minnesota Twins Wives in a Charity Softball Game. The series is currently tied at 1-1, having raised over $31,500 total for the benefiting charities.
The 2020 wives charity softball game returns on Sunday, March 1, benefiting Girls on the Run Greater Tampa Bay. The game will be played at Charlotte Sports Park on the main stadium field, immediately following the Twins vs Rays Spring Training game beginning at 1:05 p.m. All fans must have a game ticket for entry to the wives charity softball game.
The Rays Wives hosted a charity spin class on August 17, 2019, benefiting Starting Right, Now. Starting Right, Now ends homelessness for youth by providing one-on-one mentoring, a stable home, assisting with employment opportunities, teaching financial literacy/life skills and promoting educational achievement. The charity ride raised over $1500. Additionally, in partnership with the Front Office, the Rays Wives collected toiletries and hygiene products to donate to SRN's youth. 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!
Started in 2010 by former Rays player James Shields, the Home Run Club offers a sense of stability and belonging to hundreds of foster children and adoptive families throughout Tampa Bay. Each season, with the help of local foster care groups, hundreds of foster children become club members and attend a series of home games in a suite. When the suite isn't being used for club kids, the suite is used for special adoption events. On May 31, the Rays Wives joined the Home Run Club members for the game, with some additional activities scheduled throughout the evening, including a craft project, balloon artist, face painter, mascot visits and more.
On July 2, the Rays Wives, along with Rays mascots, visited patients and their families at a local hospital. In celebration of July 4, the Rays Wives delivered patriotic-themed goody bags for the children. More info
The Rays Wives recently designed and launched a New Era women's and youth apparel collection, available for purchase in the Rays Republic Team Store at Tropicana Field. The Rays Wives collection will benefit the A21 Campaign, in memory of the Bivens family. More information >
On Saturday, June 15, during Dog Day at the Rays, the Rays Wives hosted a pet food drive benefiting Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Pet Pal's mission is to rescue dogs and cats from shelters that may otherwise be euthanized due to time limitations, illness, injuries or lack of socialization and training. Pet Pal is dedicated to educating the public about the pet overpopulation crisis, the importance of spaying/neutering and responsible pet ownership.
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.
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 >