by: Sara Spurr
Earlier today Charlie Sheen donated $50,000 to the Reds Community Fund, matching what was raised by the team’s (successful) campaign to have Marty Brennaman shave his head after a game. This $100,000 is in addition to money earned from on-going fundraising efforts and special events held by the organization.
While other MLB teams may have non-profit organizations, the Reds Community Fund is unique in its extensive involvement in the many communities of Reds fans. Its mission is to “create programming that connects at-risk children with baseball, while creating fundraising programs that connect baseball with the community.”
What does the Reds Community fund do?
Field Renovations: Since the birth of the RCF in 2001, more than 300 youth baseball fields have been renovated to provide safe, enjoyable recreational opportunities for area children throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia and Tennessee. The RCF has also completed field renovations in Sarasota, Florida and Goodyear, Arizona. The Miracle League Field in Western Hills was perhaps the largest, but most deserving, projects completed by the RCF. The Miracle League Field allows children with disabilities to participate in a true baseball experience with their peers through the local chapter of the Miracle League.
Baseball Instruction and Character Development: The RCF operates the Reds Urban Youth Academy providing free, year-round baseball and softball instruction to area youth, 8-18. The RCF’s Reds Rookie Success League is a free summer program that focuses on character development with locations in Cincinnati, Fairfield, Dayton, Clermont County and Louisville, for children, 6-12.
Baseball Leagues: The Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program provides inner-city youth with the opportunity to participate in baseball and softball leagues. There are divisions for boys and girls, ages 6-18 to play in. The Coldwell Banker West Shell Match program partners teams from the suburbs and inner city together for games, group picnics and outings.
If your team does not participate in a RCF-affiliated league it may still be eligible for funding through the RCF’s Youth Baseball Funding program.
Reds Games: The Commissioner's Initiative provides tickets to nonprofit organizations that assist those who may not have the opportunity to attend Reds games.
Even if you’re not able to cut a check like Charlie Sheen did today, there are many ways to support the RCF and its programming:
Split the Pot: Raffle tickets are sold at every home game, starting at the price of $2 for one ticket. Proceeds from each game’s “pot” are divided three ways: 10% to offset expenses, 45% to the raffle winner, and 45% to benefit the Reds Community Fund. Saturday’s lucky fan claimed $14,380 in prize money.
Annual community events: The RCF hosts a series of annual events for fans of all interests, ages and abilities that include the Redlegs Run 5K and 10K in June, Family Catch in June and August, the Summer Wiffle Classic in July, the Marty Brennaman Golf Classic in September and the Redsfest Poker Tournament in December. These events provide unique experiences for participants, putting the FUN in fundraising.
Donations: If you’d like to simply give to the RCF, you can do so here. You can donate to the RCF as a whole or choose a specific RCF to receive your donation.
Volunteer: Contact Matthew Wagner at (512) 765-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org about volunteer opportunities.
For more information about the history of the RCF and its current programs and projects, explore the organization’s page and the Reds RCF page.