The Indianapolis Indians are giving away $10,000 in celebration of 125 consecutive years of professional baseball in Indianapolis. The program entitled “Lend a Helping Glove” has five local charities competing for a $10,000 grand prize.
Given a blank slate on a 5 foot fiberglass baseball glove, charities were asked to decorate their glove and put it on display in Indianapolis. Through a text vote, online vote and a celebrity panel vote, a winner will be decided. Voting began on June 3rd and ends at 11:59 PM EDT on August 19th. The winner will be announced at the Indians game on Friday, September 2nd versus Louisville.
What could be better than playing basketball in an air-conditioned gym on a hot summer day? How about playing basketball with a professional baseball player? Jeff Clement, first baseman for the Indianapolis Indians, spent the morning playing and hanging out with the kids at The Salvation Army’s Eagle Creek Community Center. “Today was a great opportunity to come down to The Salvation Army and spend time with these kids. It’s more fun, than anything because I’m just a big kid myself,” said Clement.
The kids are all part of The Salvation Army’s Summer Food Program, which provides nutritional meals for at-risk youth in the Eagle Creek area. “For some of the kids here, this is the only full meal they get during the day,” said Captain Leti Crowell, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army Eagle Creek. The program was started to bridge the gap between school sessions. Nearly all of the children qualifiy for the Federal School Lunch program and many would go without a quality meal this summer without the help of The Salvation Army.
A big part of the day is organized recreation and when Clement heard about the opportunity to go and play with the kids, he jumped at it. “It means so much to these kids that a player like Jeff Clement of the Indians cares about them enough to take time out of his schedule to come and play with them for a few hours. These kids aren’t just hungry for food, they’re hungry for attention. They’re going to go home after this and talk about it for a long time,” said Captain Crowell.
This is the second year that players from the Indianapolis Indians have spent a day with the kids at the Eagle Creek Salvation Army. Last summer, Indians pitchers Eric Hacker and Chris Bootcheck played whiffle ball with kids.
Jeff Clement, first baseman for the Indianapolis Indians, helps 10 year old Mikhal dunk.
The Indianapolis Indians are proud to announce that their mascot Rowdie, along with a team of actors from the Actors Theatre of Indiana, is currently participating in the second season of the educational program “Rowdie: Home Run for Health”.
The play is designed to entertain and educate elementary school students on the “bases” of scoring a healthy home run in the game of life. The play’s script pays special attention to three key areas of a healthy lifestyle: nutrition, exercise and personal hygiene.
Indianapolis Indians Community Relations Manager Ryan Bowman expressed that the play acts as an add-on for the information students are already learning.
“Rowdie: Home Run for Health was started to reinforce the healthy lifestyle lessons taught in our local elementary schools. We are extremely excited to work with the Actors Theatre of Indiana in the development of such a fantastic learning mechanism for young students.”
This program evolved due to the need for improved awareness of childhood obesity. After speaking with local elementary school officials and parents, the staff behind the play learned that many school districts rated child obesity as their biggest challenge to overcome in their schools.
The 25-minute play plans to journey to more than 30 Indianapolis-area schools, with the final performance to be held on Thursday, April 1. Aside from a free viewing of the show, each student also receives a multi-page Rowdie Fun & Fitness Activity Book filled with great activities and games promoting the play’s message of a healthy lifestyle.
The show itself includes a hand-created Victory Field backdrop accompanied with its very own flip down food pyramid. The play also features many baseball themed song and dance routines such as “Food for Thought” and “Let’s Get Some Exercise”.
Tuesday was a picture perfect day for a baseball game. The stands at Victory Field were nearly full for a rare 11 a.m. game. That’s because an estimated 13,000 students from across the state were invited to share in the fun.
St. Joan of Arc advanced math students scored a homerun getting to come to Victory Field but, they couldn’t just kick back, they had to compute.
“We have to write down their name and write what they do, like, if they get on base or if they get an out,” said seventh grader, Shani Ayers.
Brent Kahl is a St. Joan of Arc volunteer. He comes every other week to help students with advanced math activities. He’s been using an online curriculum designed by the Indianapolis Indians. The program is called, “Baseball in Education.”
“It’s a great way, I think, to put math in a real world setting and get a lot of fun out of it too,” said Kahl.
Indians Director of Marketing and Communications Chris Herndon said, “We make sure it meets the Indiana standards. There’s math activities and science activities — all that pertain to baseball.”
The Indians have partnered with the Indianapolis Public School District. The team donates thousands of tickets to the students each year. IUPUI is also a partner and underwrites tickets for students across the state.
But the most important numbers Tuesday: Indians 5, Syracuse 4.
Click on the play button to watch the report that aired on the local TV station:
This story by Leslie Olsen and the accompanying video first appeared on www.wishtv.com (Channel 8 CBS affiliate in Indianapolis, IN). Click here for the original story