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Yawkey Foundation Grant announcement

02/26/2006 2:50 PM

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for immediate release: 26 February, 2006

Cape Cod Baseball League Receives
Field Improvement Grant From Yawkey Foundation 

CAPE COD, Mass-- The Cape Cod Baseball League announced today it has received a grant of $300,000 from the Yawkey Foundation to support improvements of existing baseball fields in the towns of Barnstable and Falmouth. 

     McKeon Park, home of the Hyannis Mets and Guv Fuller Field/Arnie Allen Diamond, home of the Falmouth Commodores, will receive $150,000 each to utilize for field improvements to support the activities of the Cape League, as well as countless community baseball leagues, including high school, Babe Ruth League and American Legion baseball teams.

     This is the second time the Cape League has received a $300,000 grant from the Yawkey Foundation, as Bourne and Brewster benefited in 2004 to assist in the construction of two new baseball fields for the Bourne Braves and Brewster Whitecaps, which will be ready for play in 2006.

     "We’re thrilled with this latest and most generous financial support from the Yawkey Foundation, “ said Dick Sullivan, Chair of the CCBL Field Improvements Committee. “As we celebrate the impending completion of new fields in Bourne and Brewster made possible by an initial grant of $300,000 in 2004 from the Foundation, we now look forward to meeting clearly identified and urgent needs at existing playing fields. This extraordinary 2006 grant, in concert with support from community partnerships, now enables us to incorporate major improvements in Hyannis and Falmouth including new lights for both venues. Hyannis, for example, has been without lights for a decade, while the Falmouth lights are in need of upgrading and repair so as to become more efficient and less costly to operate."

     The Foundation has a long history of supporting the Cape Cod Baseball League and this grant will be part of a continuing effort to sustain and revitalize the area's playing fields. This support will greatly enhance necessary improvements thereby helping the towns, communities and children, who will have access to the joys of baseball.

     "The Cape Cod Baseball League is extremely grateful for the support of the Yawkey Foundation II grant,” said CCBL Treasurer and Field Improvement Committee Member Steve Wilson. “This grant will provide field improvements which otherwise would not have been possible from the general revenues of Falmouth and Hyannis. The significance of the grant is that many other organizations, youth groups and schools who also use these community-based fields will benefit from the improvements."

     The Falmouth Commodores’ goal at Guv Fuller Field, shared by Falmouth High School along with several other local organizations, is for new lights, a new and expanded press box and dugouts with construction slated to begin in the fall. 

     “Falmouth is very pleased and with the additional support of the town we hope our dream will come to reality,” said Falmouth Commodores General Manager Chuck Sturtevant, who indicated the Commodores’ organization also donated $25,000 toward the project.

     The Hyannis Mets have secured matching grant money from numerous donors, including the new Pope John Paul II High School, which will share McKeon Park with the Mets. Projects include a new press box, backstop and field improvements, including irrigation and lighting.

     “The Yawkey Grant becomes the financial cornerstone in solidifying the Hyannis Mets’ current strategic planning,” said Hyannis Mets President Tino DiGiovanni. “It allows the organization to concentrate on all of its goals. But more than anything, this grant affirms the collective efforts of the membership in their commitment to the success of the Mets and gives energy to future projects.”

     The mission of the Yawkey Foundation is to continue the charitable legacy of former Boston Red Sox owners, the late Tom and Jean Yawkey, by making grants that provide immediate, significant and positive impact on the quality of life of youth, families and the underserved. The Yawkey's were committed to organizations focused on youth and amateur athletics, education, health care, social services, arts and culture and conservation. 

     Following the 2002 sale of the Red Sox, the reach of the Yawkey Foundations has broadened considerably. 

     "The Yawkey Foundation is pleased to provide a grant this year to Hyannis and Falmouth,” said Jim Healey of the Yawkey Foundation. “Both Tom and Jean Yawkey were as passionate about amateur baseball as they were about major league play and the Boston Red Sox. The Cape Cod Baseball League has been instrumental in nurturing and establishing some of the great players in the game today.”

     Beginning its 122nd season in 2006, the Cape Cod Baseball League is the premier collegiate summer baseball league in the country. A total of 198 former Cape Leaguers are currently performing in the major leagues. 

     The CCBL attracted a league record 338,817 fans in 2005, while the official league web site, www.capecodbaseball.org, set another all-time mark with 13,500,000 hits and 455,000 visitors during the summer of 2005 – an increase of approximately 30 percent over 2004.
 

John Garner, Jr.
Director of Public Relations & Broadcasting
(508) 790-0394 johnwgarner@earthlink.net 

Will Bussiere
Web Editor
bussiere@capecodbaseball.org