CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, July 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Perfect Game Cares Foundation today announced that Slater Elementary School in South Atlanta is the first grant recipient of its new Grow the Game Fund. Slater Elementary School will use the grant to establish its own baseball/softball leagues for its students as well as provide entry fees that allow students to participate in the local Carver YMCA summer baseball/softball league.
The Perfect Game Cares Foundation teamed up with its partners Rawlings, New Balance, and Augusta Sportswear to provide free gear and equipment, such as gloves, bats, footwear and uniforms to help the Slater Elementary students prepare for the start of their season.
Providing resources to create these new leagues and playing opportunities for the school community follows recent Perfect Game Cares Foundation activities at Slater Elementary, including a PG Cares caravan visit as well as a free youth baseball/softball camp in March that included former Major League baseball players Lou Collier, Ben Ford, Luis Gonzalez, Tom «Flash» Gordon, Brian Jordan, Junior Spivey and Greg Vaughn.
The Perfect Game Cares Foundation’s Grow the Game Fund is made possible by generous donations from MLB players and PG Alumni, Trevor Story and George Springer, corporate partner TOP Chops Beef Jerky and contributions from others passionate about removing barriers that stand between children from underserved communities and their chance to fall in love with the sports of baseball and softball.
«Spending a day with the kids at Slater in March was the highlight of the year for me,» said Perfect Game Founder and President, Jerry Ford. «Just seeing all those kids having a lot of fun playing baseball was just as much fun for me. Many had never played baseball or softball, but despite not having the same advantages as others, they were an absolute joy to be around. The entire staff at Slater is amazing and they all truly care about these kids. We need to do more, much more, in these underserved communities, where some people may lack the resources to play baseball and softball.»
«We are absolutely thrilled to have built such a strong relationship with the staff and students from Slater Elementary. Our Grow the Game Fund was created specifically to provide needed resources to kids such as the Slater children,» said Perfect Game Cares Foundation Executive Director, Jennifer Ford. «We are passionate about giving kids opportunities, regardless of their circumstances, that provide encouragement and hope. Our focus is to grow the game of baseball and softball for all children at all levels, and every day like-minded corporate partners, current and former big leaguers and individual donors step up to the plate to help. We are certainly better together, and these kids deserve it.»
«Perfect Game has become an integral part of the Purpose Built family,» said Donya Kemp, principal of Slater Elementary. «Their partnership has brought so many rich experiences to our students and has opened the world to them in new and positive ways. I’ve never worked with a partner with a deeper commitment or investment before, and they have changed all of our lives for the better. We will be forever grateful for their support, partnership, and friendship.»
Purpose Built Schools Atlanta partners with Atlanta Public Schools to transform a network of schools in south Atlanta into successful, sustainable neighborhood schools where every student has an opportunity to thrive. Slater emulates the educational model, which combines the best of traditional public schools with the best of charter schools to offer a proven model designed to put all students on a trajectory for success.
Jasmine Swain, mother of Slater league players, Ariah and Autumn, added, «This program is giving a lot of kids whose parents aren’t able to afford to pay for them to participate on a team the opportunity to explore new things. I want to say thanks for giving my children the opportunity to be involved in such an amazing program. This program is teaching them how to be a great team player as well as an athlete. There is no favoritism—every child is treated the same and fairly. I’m glad I chose to put my kids on this team. I believe that they will not only learn the basics of the game, but how to be a great team player.»
Perfect Game Cares Foundation and its Grow the Game Fund plans to continue its support of Slater Elementary and other schools around the country whose students may not otherwise have opportunities to pick up a bat and glove and enjoy the games of baseball and softball.
To learn more about Perfect Game Cares and the Grow the Game Fund, please visit www.perfectgamecares.org.
About Perfect Game Cares
The Perfect Game Cares Foundation, Inc. began in 2003 as The PG Foundation, Inc., when PG Founder and President Jerry Ford decided that the success of Perfect Game created a platform to give back. Perfect Game has helped raise over $3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Rady Children’s Hospital, Golisano Children’s Hospital, the Toby Keith Foundation’s OK Kids Korral, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, and the Boys and Girls Club. In 2018, the Foundation expanded its footprint to become the Perfect Game Cares Foundation with its largest initiative to date—empowering and supporting America’s underserved youth. Visit www.perfectgamecares.org for more information.
About Perfect Game
Perfect Game is the world’s largest elite youth baseball and softball platform and scouting service, producing over 8,600+ events, 300,000+ games and showcases each year across the country. Perfect Game is dedicated to giving amateur players exposure to take their game to the next level, whether that be in college or in the professional ranks. Perfect Game also has launched its own broadcast channel, PerfectGame.TV, where it has already produced more than 10,000 hours of amateur baseball content. At Perfect Game events, players are performing with top-level competition in front of college recruiters and professional scouts from all over the country. Because of this, these events prove to be invaluable to the college coaches as well as Major League Baseball, as they can scout a large population of talented ballplayers in one location. To date, more than 1,500 players that have played in a Perfect Game event have also played in Major League Baseball. Since 2003, 12,776 Perfect Game alumni have been selected in the MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft. In the 2020 Draft, for example, 93 percent of all players selected had played in Perfect Game events, and all but one player selected on the Draft’s first day had previously attended Perfect Game events. And in the 2019 College World Series, every player on the roster of national champion Vanderbilt and all but one on the runner-up Michigan roster had played in a Perfect Game event.
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