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Ameriquest kicks in a million for tix


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08/18/2004 12:45 PM ET

Ameriquest kicks in a million for tix

Funds to go toward the purchase of one million tickets

By Mark Newman / MLB.com

 

? Complete info and participation dates for all 30 clubs

 

 

The official mortgage company of Major League Baseball is lending something that will make a difference to lots of children:

A big hand.

 

A really big hand.

 

Ameriquest Mortgage Company is making a charitable contribution of $1 million to obtain one million tickets from the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids program. Wednesday's announcement comes only nine days after Major League Baseball announced that program to make select game tickets in each MLB market available to fans for a minimum $1 donation to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of America and CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation.

 

The Commissioner's Initiative for Kids is the result of research and recommendations from the "Commissioner's Initiative: Major League Baseball in the 21st Century." The kids program was created to provide a platform for fans to support important youth-related charities while giving as many children as possible the opportunity to attend Major League games -- and now an increasingly familiar face to baseball fans has just stepped up to the plate and quickly hit one deep.

 

Ameriquest and Major League Baseball will distribute game tickets to schools, youth organizations, police departments, fire departments, hospitals, community groups, and military outlets in and around each Major League Baseball market. As a result of Ameriquest's contribution, tickets distributed to Boys & Girls Clubs locations in each market will now be available without a required contribution.

 

However, fans are still encouraged to make a minimum charitable contribution of $1 per ticket in order to raise as much additional money as possible for Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Cure Search National Childhood Cancer Foundation.

 

The number of tickets available per Major League club varies based on each club's season-ticket base and the number of individual game tickets previously sold or distributed.

 

"On behalf of everyone at Major League Baseball, including the 30 Clubs and the members of the Commissioner's Initiative: Major League Baseball in the 21st Century, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Ameriquest Mortgage Company for its extraordinary contribution to the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Boys and Girls Clubs of America and CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation will benefit significantly from this program."

 

"The heart and soul of the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids is community and community-based organizations and charities," said Adam Bass, senior executive vice president and vice chairman of Ameriquest, whose visibility around the game continues to grow after being title sponsor of 2004 All-Star in-stadium and online balloting and also becoming the new namesake of the Texas Rangers' ballpark.

 

"At Ameriquest, we recognize this contribution as a tremendous way to reinforce our commitment to communities across the nation through our partnership with Major League Baseball."

 

Throughout the duration of the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids program, many Major League clubs will designate a day to honor children from Boys & Girls Clubs of America and CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation during pre-game ceremonies and in activities throughout the games. Details about each Major League club's activities will be announced locally as they are finalized.

 

CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation supports the work of CureSearch Children's Oncology Group (COG), a network of more than 5,000 physicians, nurses and scientists who conduct clinical trials and perform cutting-edge research to cure childhood cancer at more than 200 member institutions. CureSearch COG represents every pediatric cancer program, treating more than 90 percent of children with cancer in North America.

 

"On behalf of all the families impacted by childhood cancer, we are very proud to be a beneficiary of the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids and are deeply grateful to Ameriquest and Major League Baseball for their incredible generosity," said Paul T. Burke, president and CEO, CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation. "This promotion will raise public awareness that childhood cancer is the No. 1 disease killer of children in the USA, claiming the lives of more children under 20 than any other disease. It will also provide much needed funds to advance collaborative research and help us reach the day when every child with cancer can be guaranteed a cure."

 

Mets pitcher Tom Glavine, one of the player members of the Commissioner's Initiative, is the one who suggested that a cause-related fund-raising component for children be part of the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids. He brought CureSearch to the program and said: "I am thrilled that Commissioner Selig designated CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation as a beneficiary of this program, and I encourage baseball fans all over the country to donate money to this wonderful cause and enjoy a day at the ballpark with the children they love."

 

Major League Baseball already implements cause-related marketing programs -- including a Mother's Day breast cancer awareness and fund-raising campaign, and a Father's Day prostate cancer awareness and fund-raising campaign -- on an annual basis.

 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America has been the official charity of Major League Baseball since 1997, and in that time the two organizations have established more than 100 RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) leagues and nearly 150 Rookie Leagues (machine-pitch instructional programs), and increased exposure for B&GCA through MLB-produced print, radio and TV public-service ad campaigns. The partnership has generated more than $15 million in funding for Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

 

Boys & Girls Clubs is a national network of more than 3,300 neighborhood-based facilities that each year serve 3.6 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances, in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as domestic and international military bases.

 

Known as the "Positive Place for Kids," the Boys & Girls Clubs provide character-development programs on a daily basis, conducted by full- and part-time trained professional staff and volunteers.

 

"Boys & Girls Clubs of America is proud to partner with Major League Baseball on the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids," Kurt Aschermann, executive vice president of marketing, said of the Aug. 9 announcement. "Not only does this program offer our Clubs an opportunity to raise funds while also supporting childhood cancer research, it offers an opportunity for Boys and Girls Club kids to see a game with Mom and Dad before summer ends. B&GCA appreciates everything MLB does for us, including this wonderful promotion."

 

? Complete info and participation dates for all 30 clubs

 

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

http://florida.marlins.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/...s_mlb&fext=.jsp

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