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.
This 2019 season, for every home run Rays infielder Brandon Lowe hits, he and his wife, Madison, will donate $100 to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay. The Rays Baseball Foundation will also contribute $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 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.
With a $25,000 donation to the Children's Dream Fund, Kevin Kiermaier, and his wife, Marisa, are fulfilling the dreams of five children - "Kiermaier's Kids" - who are living with life threatening illnesses. The Kiermaier's Kids' dreams include meeting Mickey Mouse, visiting Disney World to meet the princesses and setting sail on a Disney Cruise.
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!
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 Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. In celebration of July 4, the Rays Wives delivered patriotic-themed goody bags for the children. More info
On Saturday, June 15, during Dog Day at the Rays, the Rays Wives are hosting a pet food drive benefiting Pet Pal Animal Shelter. Donate at the gate 1 rotunda or outside gate 6, from 11:40 am - 1:40 pm, and receive a ticket voucher valid for 2 lower corner tickets to a future Rays game. Visit raysbaseball.com/DogDay for more information.
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 >