Freeland Gives Back
On Aug. 25, Kyle Freeland visited Holm Elementary School-his old school and where his mother still works-with gifts in tow. Through a Wal-Mart partnership, Freeland dropped off 500 backpacks and school supplies tailored to each grade level, during a special event on the playground. Freeland reflected on the event saying, "It means the world to me. Being able to have the opportunity to do that at a school that I went to and help these kids out…it's amazing."
Freeland hopes to continue providing backpacks and school supplies to a new school each year. Born and raised in Denver and playing for the hometown team, Freeland makes sure he is always doing his part in the community.
Player Outreach and Initiatives
Throughout the season, Rockies players are always looking for ways to make an impact in the community, at the ballpark and off-site. Here are some of the highlights of their community work from this past season:
- Chad Bettis, Charlie Blackmon and Noel Cuevas visited UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on Sept. 13.
- Cuevas and Ryan McMahon stopped by The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver Owen Branch on Sept. 6.
- Yency Almonte, Carlos González and McMahon participated in Fantasy Camp for Kids on Aug. 9, an event for 60 kids from Special Olympics Colorado and Big D's Warriors at Jason Jennings Adaptive Field in Lakewood, Colo.
- PLAY BALL Weekend, part of a league-wide initiative to encourage casual and formal youth softball and baseball participation, was held June 8-10 in Denver. The weekend included youth baseball parades around the warning track, a cap exchange with the Boys & Girls Club Owen Branch, young fans getting the opportunity to deliver the lineup card with Manager Bud Black and announce "Play Ball!" at the start of each game. Many players and coaches were involved, making it a special weekend.
- Wade and Katelyn Davis donated $10,000 to the Warrior Dog Foundation on June 8, an organization providing retirement and rehabilitation services for retired Special Operations and law enforcement K9s slated to be euthanized.
- Ian Desmond pledged to donate $1,000 for every run and RBI he recorded during Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month this May, ultimately totaling a $29,000 donation to the Children's Tumor Foundation at the end of the month.
- Mike Dunn hosted a group of Warrior Games athletes during batting practice on May 28, maintaining his longstanding military outreach efforts. The Warrior Games is a multi-sport, Paralympic-style competition held annually since 2010 for wounded, injured or ill service personnel and veterans, organized by the United State Department of Defense. The 2018 Warrior Games were held June 1-9 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., with over 300 participants.
- Blackmon and Vinny Castilla visited Aurora West College Prep Academy on May 12 to talk about goal setting, planning for success and to honor outstanding teachers.
Rockies Wives Give Back
Rockies wives and girlfriends continually make an effort to be involved in the local community. This year they helped organize two large events:
- A group of Rockies wives, as well as Bryan Shaw, spent time giving back at the Food Bank of the Rockies on Sept. 7. They helped organize and distribute items for families in need. The Food Bank of the Rockies helps families thrive by efficiently procuring and distributing food and essentials to the hungry.
- The Rockies wives and girlfriends also hosted their annual grab bags event on June 8 and 9. Each year players' wives put together gift bags that contain an autographed baseball and fans donate $40 to the Rockies Foundation for a bag of their choice, not knowing what autograph is inside. The wives host the event once each season and it always sells out, raising about $25,000 for the Colorado Rockies Foundation, and this year was another success.
Rockies Front Office Projects
Rockies front office staff is always looking for ways to volunteer in the local Denver community. Here are various community outreach over the past few months:
- On Nov. 9, front office members, in conjunction with Volunteers of America, assisted seniors and individuals with disabilities who needed help raking the leaves in their yard.
- A team of front office volunteers headed over to the Ronald McDonald House on Oct. 18 to decorate for Halloween. Ronald McDonald House of Denver provides comfortable, low-cost housing to out-of-town parents who need to be near their hospitalized children.
- On Sept. 21, Rockies staff organized and cleaned around the Freedom Service Dogs of America facility, followed by some play time with the dogs. Freedom Service Dogs trains shelter dogs to be service dogs who can assist people with disabilities like autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- On Aug. 11, Rockies staff supported Denver Human Services at the Family Resource Fair. Prior to the fair, the Rockies ran a school supply drive to provide backpacks and various supplies to the attendees of the fair. They also handed out promotional items and the young fans got to interact with Dinger.
- On July 13, members of the front office participated in a clean-up of Cherry Creek Trail and LoDo Playground. They also helped plant and care for landscaping, picked up litter and helped with other projects as needed. LoDo Cares is a community volunteer organization that sponsors and coordinates philanthropic activities in LoDo.