Sunday, July 10, 2016

RiverDogs Again Join Yankees HOPE Week Initiative

Outings planned for July 12-16 throughout the Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC – The Charleston RiverDogs are once again proud to partner with their parent organization the New York Yankees for the HOPE Week Initiative. The creative outing runs from July 12-16, as RiverDogs players, coaches and the front office staff will make community service appearances throughout the Lowcountry during the five-day outreach.

This will be the eighth year in which the 27-time World Series Champions Yankees have held their HOPE Week. HOPE is the acronym for “Helping Others Persevere and Excel,” and it will be the fifth time that the RiverDogs bring the concept to the Lowcountry.

Contributing partners and facilitating institutions that are involved include MUSC Children’s Hospital, Wine & Canvas, Groucho’s Deli, and Bohemian Bull.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner once again with the New York Yankees for such fantastic causes,” said RiverDogs Director of Community Relations Haley Kirchner. “It is a great way for us to continue to be active in our community and to recognize some truly amazing people and organizations.”

“This initiative in which we partner with the Yankees has been part of our external makeup for four years so far,” said President and General Manager Dave Echols. “Part of our overall marketing initiative stems from our being very active in our community, and this actively involves the players, who enjoy it as much as the recipients.”

The RiverDogs will participate in events every day from July 12-16 to garner awareness for the highlighted causes, individuals and organizations. Additionally, every day over the five-day period a different non-profit organization and/or family in need receives an once-in-a-lifetime experience of interaction with RiverDogs players and then an evening of fun at a RiverDogs home game at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

The RiverDogs and all of the Yankees' affiliates have received a citation from the President's Volunteer Service Award for past years of HOPE Week.

The 2016 HOPE Week schedule:

· Tuesday, July 12: YoArt!inc

o Yo Art Inc. develops a skill-based media arts technology program at Title One public schools in the Charleston and Dorchester county school districts. The programs are designed to incorporate classroom curriculum into the projects and to allow the students to form an increased interest in the subject matter and a deeper understanding of the curriculum;

o Artwork from students with the program will be displayed on the video board throughout that night’s game;

o RiverDogs players will join students at the summer camp program to partake in the day’s creative activities.

· Wednesday, July 13: Camp Rise Above

o Camp Rise Above is an organization that provides life-changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses, disabilities and challenges. They create custom-made programs to help teach campers to overcome obstacles and to grow and develop their confidence and abilities.

· Thursday, July 14: Barbara Kelley-Duncan

o Barbara Kelley-Duncan recently retired having served as the CEO of the Carolina Youth Development Center since 2003.Under her leadership, CYDC has received multi-year major grant support from The Duke Endowment in Charlotte, the Andrus Family Fund in New York City and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, also in New York City, for its programs. Kelley-Duncan brought the first nationally-acclaimed Freedom Schools program to Charleston during the summer of 2005, and in fall of that year, opened CYDC’s Ledford House, a residential program for older youth in foster care;

o The Carolina Youth Development Center will be recognized alongside Kelley-Duncan at the game;

o Players will be teaming up with the Carolina Youth Development Center in the morning and assisting with a trip to the Carolina Ice Palace to hang out with the kids and cheer for them as they skate.

· Friday, July 15: Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary

o The Hallie Hill Animal Sanctuary provides a preserve for abandoned, abused or neglected animals with a home, food, medical care, shelter and love. Hallie Hill is dedicated to providing a high standard of care to all its animal residents, regardless of breed, age or disposition and follows a strict “no kill” policy. On site there are approximately 200 dogs and cats that have arrived at Hallie Hill for the care and love they deserve;

o Select dogs who are available for adoption will be at the game;

o Players will spend their morning at the sanctuary assisting with the feeding and therapy of the animals by playing catch in the fields of the farm

o Friday, July 16: Jocelyn and Rachel

o Jocelyn Cram-Smith is 9 years old and is a rising 4th grader at First Baptist School of Charleston. When her friend and classmate Rachel was diagnosed with leukemia 16 months ago, Jocelyn helped raise funds by hosting lemonade stands and also helped deliver meals to Rachel's family twice a week. Then, in June of 2015, Jocelyn's mom was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at just 31 years old. Jocelyn told her mom that even though she had cancer, "We don't need to be afraid because we are a family and we love each other." From that, "LOVE, Not Fear" became the family mantra as well as the name of the Relay for Life Team Jocelyn leads to raise money for more research through the American Cancer Society;

o Rachel, a precious 8 year-old who was active in soccer, basketball and dance, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, positive Philadelphia trait, which means a very high risk. The family’s collective lives immediately evolved into a world of doctors, nurses, hospitalizations, lab work, chemotherapy and fear. Rachel has taken this journey and proved to be a strong hero. She never ceases to amaze her friends and family with her courage, strength and grace. She keeps a smile on her face and remains positive. That positive spirit even earned her the honor of being the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 2016 Girl of the Year. She is eager to return to school with Jocelyn and her other friends at First Baptist and return to all of her favorite activities;

o Players will spend the morning with Jocelyn and paint at Wine and Canvas. The paintings will later be auctioned off at the game to help raise money for Jocelyn’s “LOVE, Not Fear” fundraiser. The group will then head over to the MUSC Children’s Hospital and spend time hanging out with Rachel.

The RiverDogs host the Rome Braves Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday prior to entertaining the Lakewood BlueClaws from Friday throughMonday.

For more information on the RiverDogs’ HOPE Week, please contact Kirchner at 843/723-7241.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)