12/11/2012 3:04 PM ET
Brett Lawrie opens Jays Care community clubhouse in Langley, BC
$250,000 grant funds development of a dedicated recreational youth space for Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC
Today, JAYS CARE FOUNDATION, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club, unveiled the brand new Jays Care Community Clubhouse at the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC – Langley Club (BGC). This dedicated recreational youth space was made possible through a $250,000 Field of Dreams grant from the Foundation. Inspired by the Blue Jays clubhouse, the fully-accessible Club will serve over 250 kids in the Douglas Park community each day, twice the capacity of its current programming space.
Toronto Blue Jays third baseman, Brett Lawrie, joined 50 BGC youth at the grand opening and presented the Club with a personalized jersey to be displayed in the space.
“It’s great to be back in my home town and visit with the kids from the Boys and Girls Club,” said the Langley native. “I’m proud to see my team making a difference in the lives of kids on the West Coast.”
The Langley Club was the first of two BC Clubs to receive funding from Jays Care. Earlier this year, the Surrey Club was awarded a $50,000 Field of Dreams grant to assist in the development of a Jays Care Community Clubhouse that will help more than 250 boys and girls play sports, interact with positive role models and gain fundamental life skills.
“When groups like Jays Care support our facility projects, it means that hundreds more kids will belong to a Boys and Girls Club this year,” said Carolyn Tuckwell, President & CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC. “Those kids will have the sense of belonging and success they crave, and a strong foundation and the life skills they need to succeed and pursue their dreams.”
Jays Care has also invested in programs and outreach initiatives on the West Coast through its Blue Jays Baseball Academy Rookie League. Launching its first full season of national programming in 2012, 12 Boys and Girls Clubs in Lower Mainland, BC were given equipment, monetary grants and coaching support to develop grass roots baseball programming in under-resourced communities. Jays Care has helped introduced more than 800 children across British Columbia to the game of baseball that would not, otherwise, have access to organized sport. This season, Lawrie served as one of the Rookie League Honorary Division Captains.
“As the charitable arm of Canada’s only Major League Baseball team, Jays Care has made a strong commitment to serving children and youth in communities from coast to coast,” said Rob Drynan, interim Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation. “Our investments provide kids with safe places to stay physically active, play baseball and learn the valuable life skills that come from being part of a team: cooperation, discipline, respect and responsibility.”
About Jays Care Foundation
Since 1992, Jays Care has created opportunities for children and youth in need by providing access to programs that promote regular physical activity, encourage the pursuit of higher education and impart fundamental life skills. The foundation has made possible the building of dedicated, accessible, safe youth spaces for recreational programming, inspiring engagement through the sport of baseball. In 2012 alone, Jays Care contributed more than $1.9 million to initiatives and facilities across Canada, and provided 23,000 kids access to vital programs and services through Field of Dreams funding, Grand Slam Grants, the Home Run Scholars program, Rookie League camps and Jays Care Community Clubhouse.
For more information, visit bluejays.com/jayscare and follow the Blue Jays and Jays Care on Twitter: @bluejays and @jayscare.
About Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast BC (BGC)
For over 75 years BGC has been giving children and youth something they deserve: a safe place to belong when they aren't at home or at school. To kids, their Club feels like a place where they can hang out with their friends, and make new ones! But it's so much more. It's a place that provides them with three of the things they need most: a sense of belonging, a sense of success, and positive relationships. That happens through a wide range of activities that are not only of interest to kids, but that are good for them, too: sports, homework, safe access to the on-line world, arts, crafts, and of course, sharing meals.
Annually, we serve more than 10,000 children, youth, and families — and no one is ever Annually, we serve more than 10,000 children, youth, and families — and no one is ever turned away due to an inability to pay. No one.
Please check out our full list of programs and services: www.bgcsouthcoastbc.ca and follow us @helpBGC
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.