Jays Care Foundation today announced they are investing an additional $246,000 in 2016 to enable Toronto Community Housing's Rookie League youth baseball program to run year-round.
Chair Bud Purves and President and CEO (Interim) Greg Spearn joined 25 Rookie League participants, Mayor John Tory, Jays Care Executive Director Robert Witchel and Toronto Blue Jays players Dalton Pompey, Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman in the Jays' clubhouse for the announcement.
The new funding increases Jays Care's annual commitment to the joint program to $500,000 a year. This will enable youth in 11 Toronto Community Housing communities to attend Rookie League three nights a week over the winter months for help with homework and an opportunity to play ball and learn teamwork and sportsmanship.
Already, some 1,200 children participate annually during Rookie League's seven-week summer baseball camp, which is now in its 28th year. Toronto Community Housing hires 180 coaches to run the summer program, most of whom are Toronto Community Housing residents.
"Jays Care's long-term commitment to Rookie League has made a lasting difference in our communities," said Bud Purves. "Many of the coaches we hire to mentor today's Rookie Leagures were once in the program themselves, and they're excited to pay it forward. That's a great legacy for Jays Care."
Greg Spearn noted that Rookie League has already given over 10,000 kids the chance to learn about teamwork and fair play from their baseball heroes. "Participating in Rookie League is an incredible team mentorship opportunity that can help kids chart their future, and thanks to our expanding partnership with Jays Care Foundation, even more children and youth in our communities will benefit starting in 2016."Visit our Children and youth page
to learn more about Rookie League and other Active Living programs.