Chen to chair upcoming Baseball Equipment Drive, set for May 6-7

The Royals will team with pitcher Bruce Chen for the seventh annual Baseball Equipment Drive presented by the Baseball Tomorrow Fund and Rawlings.  The drive is set for Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 at Kauffman Stadium prior to the first two games of the Royals-Oakland A’s weekend series.  This season’s Baseball Equipment Drive will benefit the Alta Vista Charter School Baseball Program.

Collection times will be from 30 minutes prior to first pitch through the end of the second inning each evening outside of the Diamond Club and Majestic Team Store on the plaza level of Kauffman Stadium.  In addition to collecting new and gently-used baseball and softball equipment, Royals Wives will also be selling special mystery bags for a $20 donation.  Each mystery bag will include a baseball autographed by a Royals player.

In addition to the items and funds collected during the two-day drive, the Alta Vista Baseball Program will also receive a $5,000 grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which will be presented during pregame ceremonies on Tuesday, May 3. 

Alta Vista Charter School, located in Kansas City, Mo., serves a number of students of Mexican heritage.  Despite the popularity of soccer in Mexico, many of the school’s students hoped for a chance to begin a baseball program.  With the support of the administration and staff, Alta Vista was able to purchase basic baseball equipment to help get the program running.  In the spring of 2010, Alta Vista fielded a baseball team for the first time in school history and hopes to expand the program moving forward.

The Baseball Tomorrow Fund was established in 1999 to promote and enhance the growth of baseball throughout the world by funding programs, field improvements and equipment purchases all in an effort to encourage and maintain youth participation in baseball and softball.  The Baseball Tomorrow Fund averages $1.5 million in grants annually and partners with teams around the Major Leagues on equipment drives.  In 2010, the Royals ranked fourth among all teams in number of items collected during the annual drive.

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