The Arizona Diamondbacks and their charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, surpassed $50 million in charitable giving since their inception in 1998, it was announced tonight at the annual Evening on the Diamond at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Of that $50 million, 80 percent has been donated in just the last 11 years.
“We have long believed that the Arizona Diamondbacks are more than just a baseball team, but an asset to our community,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “It is an absolute honor to have the ability to give back to those who support us and we are incredibly proud to reach $50 million in charitable giving. It is a top priority for this organization to be positive and contributing members of the community while impacting the lives and well-being of those who call our great state home. This is only the beginning.”
During last night’s Evening on the Diamond event, presented by PetSmart, the team gave away more than $700,000 in Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Awards to surpass the $50 million mark. Recipients were the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (Phoenix Zoo), Catholic Charities Community Services for MANA House, Florence Crittenton, Hacienda Healthcare, Hug Clinic at GateWay Community College, Save the Family Foundation of Arizona, The Society of St. Vincent de Paul and University of Arizona Mobile Outreach Clinic.
The event raised a record 2.1 million for the Foundation.
“The entire Diamondback family is proud to reach this milestone of giving back $50 million to our community, and especially to those who need it most,” said Kendrick, the team’s Managing General Partner. “Without our spirited fans, our generous partners, creative employees and players, we could never have reached this goal. We did it together. We take this achievement to heart, we appreciate it and in the future, we know the sky’s the limit.”
Among the team’s signature programs is the Diamonds Back Field Building Program, in conjunction with APS, which has built or renovated 38 youth fields across the state. The 39th, Paul Goldschmidt Field, will be dedicated this Tuesday in Goodyear, Ariz.
The D-backs Give Back Youth Jersey program, presented by Fry’s Food Stores, Tide and Western Refining, has outfitted 50,000 youth players and coaches this spring, bringing the total to nearly 150,000 during the programs four-year existence. In providing free uniforms and hats, the youth leagues are able to redirect funds to important initiatives like field renovations, coaches training, lower league fees and new equipment and supplies.
The D-backs School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix, has awarded $750,000 over the past five years to more than 140 winning public, private and charter schools.
Other programs include the annual D-backs Race Against Cancer, presented by the University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital; the Celebrity Golf Classic, presented by Sanderson Ford, benefiting a variety of causes that improve the lives of military veterans; Chase Your Dreams, which provides equipment to revitalize struggling high school baseball and softball programs, courtesy of Chase; and the Native American Intertribal Tournament, an annual event that brings together more than 1,100 participants from nearly 40 tribes around the country.
Of the $50 million given back to the community, more than half has been dedicated to the state’s youth. With funding for organizations such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics and the Foundation for Blind Children, the franchise is deeply committed to its next generation of fans.
Fans contribute daily to the team’s efforts, as the 50/50 Raffle at Chase Field, presented by Western Refining, raised more than $1.5 million last season and this year, will expand with new ways for fans to purchase tickets. On May 16, the team will host its annual broadcast fundraiser on FOX Sports Arizona, which has raised more than $1.9 million since 2001.