The Fort Myers Miracle Professional Baseball Club teamed up with Grace Church to provide toys this Holiday season for the less fortunate. The Miracle donated hats, baseballs, shirts, blankets and jackets, while Grace Church distributed the items to those in need.
We are thrilled with the donation that the Miracle Baseball Club made to our Christmas Gift Giveaway. We were able to assist over 100 children with Christmas gifts, and the Club’s huge donation served as a way for us not to have to turn anyone away, there were gifts for everyone, even those who hadn’t signed up in advance,” said Pastor Arlene Jackson.
“The Miracle are happy to support charitable organizations that positively impact our community,” said Miracle General Manager Steve Gliner.
Grace Church is located in downtown Fort Myers. The campus during the past month, collected toys that were given away to needy families on Christmas Eve.
Grace Church at 2415 Grand Avenue, Fort Myers, is dedicated to serving and forming relationships with the local neighborhood and offers a free meal and worship service every Wednesday night as well as free Sunday morning breakfast before and during their two worship services at 10 & 11:30am. They are also open to partnerships with other organizations to provide meals, clothing and other services.
The Kids with Cancer radio-thon is an annual volunteer event for the Fort Myers Miracle. This year on October 15th the Miracle staff answered phones to take donations for the local Children’s Hospital. This year the community donated $147,000 for Barbara’s Friends and their fight against children’s cancer at the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Barbara’s Friends serves as the Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund for The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Their Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Outpatient Center has helped over 3,000 children who have been diagnosed since they’ve opened. Most the families of the children being treated are without insurance, but are never turned away.
This annual Radio-thon is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Barbara’s Friends with all proceeds going to fund programs, equipment and the children’s medical care.
On August 21, 2010 the Fort Myers Miracle played host to the Bradenton Marauders on Breast Cancer Awareness night at The Bill. The night consisted of a double header against the Marauders with a silent auction that took place during the second game. 21st Century Oncology sponsored this night with all proceeds from the auctions going to Partners for Breast Cancer Care. The Miracle players wore pink jerseys to signify and promote breast cancer awareness. Following the end of the game, fans that won jerseys in the silent auction were lead onto the field to receive their jersey right from the player’s back. This provided fans with the opportunity to take pictures and have their jersey signed by the Miracle team. Other auction items included golf packages, hotel getaway packages, autographed baseballs, bats and pink bases.
Partners for Breast Cancer Care is a Southwest Florida based non-profit organization that helps qualified men and women with the diagnosis and treatment cost of breast cancer. Helping over 7,000 men and women since their start in 2004, Partners for Breast Cancer Care has become a staple in the Southwest Florida Community and a friend to the Fort Myers Miracle.
The Miracle fans donated over $6,500.00 to Partners for Breast Cancer Care through various silent auction items, raffles and jewelry sales that went on during the game. This was the first year the Miracle teamed up with Partners for Breast Cancer Care and 21st Century Oncology. With the success of this year’s auction the Miracle are excited to see what next year will bring.
Breast Cancer survivors walk before the game
Miracle Manager Jake Mauer with the family that won his jersey in the silent auction
The Fort Myers Miracle are proud to announce that Rebecca Garcia has been awarded the Florida Marlins / Florida State League scholarship. Each year the Miracle and the 11 other teams in the Florida State League partner with the Florida Marlins and award one deserving person from each club a $1,500 educational scholarship.
Garcia, a Fort Lauderdale native, is currently a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University and slated to graduate in December, with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. She is in her first summer as a game day volunteer with the Miracle, learning the finer points of the team’s extensive game day operations. She also has been very active in the nightly operation of the team’s merchandise shop.
“Rebecca is a fine representative of our strong game day volunteer group this season. She has taken on many roles and has been eager to learn about the business side of minor league baseball,” said Miracle General Manager Steve Gliner. “We feel she is a deserving recipient and I know she will use it to further her major.”
The Florida Marlins have sponsored the program with the Florida State League the past 11 years through their Community Foundation and the Executive Director, Nancy Olson. The foundation has now contributed $95,000 to this program.
The award is based both on financial need and grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be a member of the team’s gameday operations team, an employee of, or the child or grandchild of an employee of the participating club during the 2010 Florida State League Season, and must be at least a high school junior by the 2010 Fall Term.
“I have learned so much this summer. I can’t even begin to describe my experience and all the knowledge I have gained from the Miracle staff”, said Garcia.
League President Chuck Murphy stated; “This program is one of the best things we do in this League and I congratulate the General Managers on their dedication and emphasis in administering this program. The purpose of the program is to send a message that an education is key to success in life.”
Miracle Cares is a community outreach program that was founded in the Fall of 2008. The Fort Myers Miracle front office staff recognized the need for volunteers in the community and took it upon themselves to be those people. Each month the Miracle volunteer some of their work time to helping local organizations in need. This year organizations such as the CCMI soup kitchen, Ronald McDonald House and Salvation Army were assisted in there drive for helping others.
Thursday, April 15th the Miracle pushed up their sleeves and went to work in the kitchen of the Ronald McDonald house cooking some ballpark favorites for dinner. “It’s something simple for us to do and yet the families have been very appreciative” says General Manager, Steve Gliner. The Miracle lent a hand at the local soup kitchen earlier this year, serving over a hundred people within just a couple hours.
The team turned full circle when they visited the Children’s Hospital on April 26th. The visit consisted of stopping at the Oncology/Hematology, Intensive Care and Surgical units. Children’s faces lit up with joy seeing professional ball players walk into their room to visit. Some kids jumped right into their arms, while others took a little time to warm up to. The kids took to the players right away and began cracking jokes and giving high fives. At the end of the day the kids were just kids, all illnesses momentarily aside.
Miracle Players from left: Tony Davis, Chris Herrmann, Dan Rohlfing, Brad Tippett