Local Little Leaguers Hit It Big With the Help of Grand Slam For Youth Baseball
Young Baseball Fans Get Up-Close and Personal at Minute Maid Park
HOUSTON (September 21, 2006) - Like Astros rookies taking the field for the first time, little leaguers walked on to the field at Minute Maid Park in awe as the fans applauded. The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston - Moorefield Unit received kudos at a recent Houston Astros game when the group was recognized as the lucky recipient of the Grand Slam for Youth Baseball (GSFYB) annual ballpark refurbishment program. The group was on the field at Minute Maid Park prior to the game and was greeted by representatives from Houston's hometown juice brand, Minute Maid and the Houston Astros. "So many parents look for a safe and healthy way to be involved in their children's lives," said Fred Arnold, Manager of Strategic Alliances for Minute Maid. "With help from Grand Slam for Youth Baseball and the encouragement and continued yearly support from the parents, little leaguers will hopefully become dedicated to the sport and a healthy way of life. These individuals are the true heroes - their tireless devotion to area youth and the community provides the foundation that makes this program work." "The Boys & Girls Club was chosen through an application process and its selection marks the fifth ball field to be refurbished by the program," said Marian Harper, Vice President of Community Development for the Houston Astros. "Each year we receive more applications - there are so many people who want to improve the little league facilities that it is truly difficult to select just one recipient. But, with this program, we hope to help give the little league players of today the opportunity to become the major league players of tomorrow." GSFYB is a community outreach program created by Minute Maid, Houston's hometown juice brand, and the Houston Astros in August 2002. The program includes sponsorship for City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department's FREE Youth Baseball/Softball program through the provision of uniforms, equipment and instruction; refurbishment of one youth baseball field each year; college scholarships for Houston area high school seniors; and a unique fundraising opportunity for youth baseball teams and leagues (the GSFYB concession stand at Minute Maid Park) - portions of the proceeds go to the teams and leagues who work the stand. GSFYB is designed to make it easier for boys and girls to play, learn about and experience baseball, while fostering self-confidence, involvement, teamwork and fun among area children. On hand for the announcement were: Back Row: Marian Harper, Vice President of Community Development, Houston Astros; Fred Arnold, Manager of Strategic Alliances, Minute Maid; John Havard, President and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston; Mona Bates, Branch Director for the Boys & Girls Club Moorefield Unit; Brandon Backe, Pitcher for the Houston Astros and official GSFYB spokesman; Front Row: Gabriel Gonzalez, Kevin Bates, Traevon Jackson, Toddrick Jordan, and Robert Jones.