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Grizzlies Community Fund

On January 1, 2004, the Fresno Grizzlies introduced the Grizzlies Community Fund (GCF).  This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was created to spearhead efforts to assist, reward and support the community, ensuring the Grizzlies remain an active and esteemed member of the community.  With the overwhelming popularity of the team and numerous requests for donations, the Fresno Grizzlies organization decided the best way to continue meeting the needs of the public was to form the Grizzlies Community Fund.  The GCF consists of six programs outlined below.

 

WILD ABOUT READING

During the 2015-2016 school year, Parker and Eddie the Owl, the Educational Employees Credit Union mascot, visited over 175 schools in five counties across the Central Valley.  Through these school visits, the program that which is completely free to the schools, reached 102,000 students.  Combining agriculture education with a message about the importance of reading, Parker and Eddie leave every student a copy of the fifth edition of the Farm Grown Magazine. This is an interactive and educational children’s agricultural publication filled with fun activities, various articles, a story about Parker and the bookmark to keep track of the 10 books that they are challenged to read.  Students who successfully complete “Parker’s Reading Challenge” earn tickets to Grizzlies games and have the chance to win other great prizes at their designated Fresno Grizzlies game. The Grizzlies Community Fund and the Fresno Grizzlies Baseball Club are proud to be advocates of reading and envision a day when every Central Valley elementary school will participate.  Designed to reinforce the importance of literacy, living a healthy lifestyle and to instill pride in Central Valley agriculture, our Wild About Reading program has become an activity students and teachers look forward to every year.

 

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA FARM GROWN PROGRAM

Our newest program, the Fresno Grizzlies and Grizzlies Community Fund came together in April 2012 to announce the creation of the Central California Farm Grown Program.  Playing off of the idea that the Grizzlies are a farm team for the San Francisco Giants and are in the heart of the nation’s agricultural capital, Farm Grown promotes the agricultural heritage and philanthropic vitality of the Central San Joaquin Valley through the building of meaningful partnerships in support of education and healthy living.  Farm Grown has quickly become a multifaceted program that, in addition to the partnership with the Wild About Reading program as described above, features an in-park community garden (built with the generous support of the Educational Employees Credit Union); a grants and scholarships fund; a farmer’s market on all Friday home games (presented by Whole Foods Market); and a pre-game Farm Forum speaker series, also on selected Fridays.

 

JUNIOR GRIZZLIES

Established in 2006, Junior Grizzlies is a 9-week, co-ed, noncompetitive baseball league for children and adults (ages 5-60) with disabilities.  Running in the late spring and early summer, since 2007 the Junior Grizzlies games have taken place at the “Field of Dreams” in Clovis.  The field cost $500,000 and was made possible thanks to support from Granite Construction, the Clovis Unified School District, the Fansler Foundation, SC Johnson, and Saint Agnes Medical Center. The adaptive, rubberized surface allows easy access for individuals who use wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.  The league serves over 200 individuals annually.

 

GRIZZLIES YOUTH BASEBALL CAMP (5-14 year olds)

Each summer since 2006, Grizzlies players and coaches have joined the Grizzlies Community Fund to host a baseball camp.  In 2016, the Grizzlies Youth Baseball Camp saw over 250 boys and girls take to the field at Chukchansi Park over a span two separate camps taking place in June and August.  Campers learned the fundamentals of baseball from their favorite Grizzlies players and coaches, used the indoor batting cages, took a behind-the-scenes tour of Chukchansi park, participated in an autograph session, and were recognized at an awards luncheon on the final day.

 

CHARITABLE JERSEY AUCTIONS

Each year, the Grizzlies Community Fund partners with various local organizations to raise money for their respective charities by auctioning limited-edition, game-worn jerseys.  In the 2016 season, we raised over $20,000 to benefit Centro La Familia Advocacy Services, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation Central California, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley, Special Olympics Northern California and the Susan G. Komen Central Valley.

 

SWING FOR KIDS

The Grizzlies Community Fund makes it easy for Grizzlies season ticket holders to donate their unused tickets to Central Valley nonprofits.  In 2016, with the help of our most devoted fans and supporters, the Community Fund distributed over 5,000 tickets to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, the California Teaching Fellows Foundation, the Fresno Rescue Mission, Make-A-Wish Central California Chapter, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley, United Way of Fresno County, the Clovis Young Marines and the Valley Teen Ranch Foster Family Agency.


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