10/11/2005 3:03 PM ET
Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant supports opening of 'Brad Wilkerson Field'
Youth field dedicated in honor of Owensboro (KY) native and Washington Nationals outfielder
Following is the statement prepared by MLBPA Executive Director Donald M. Fehr for the March 17 hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform:
In support of the ongoing commitment from Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association to increase youth participation in baseball throughout the world, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded a grant of $73,000 to Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club. The grant, awarded in 2004, supported the construction of a new youth baseball field at the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club, which will be named "Brad Wilkerson Field" in honor of Owensboro, Kentucky native Wilkerson, a Washington Nationals outfielder and an alumnus of Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club.
In addition to the $73,000 Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant, Wilkerson donated $20,000 to help fund this project. The new field will help Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club establish a new baseball and softball program, which is expected to benefit 2,000 children, ages 10-14.
Wilkerson will be honored during a field dedication ceremony on October 14th at 12:00 p.m. (CDT) at the Club's new Mike Horn Unit. Tina Tamayoshi, Grant Coordinator, Baseball Tomorrow Fund, will attend the ceremony and will be joined by a variety of local dignitaries including:
Tommy Thompson, State Representative (D- KY)
Cliff Hagan, NBA Hall of Famer and Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club Namesake
Steve Winkler, Executive Director, Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club
David Mudd, Board President, Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club
Mike Horn, Owner and President of Titan Contracting & Leasing Co., Mike Horn Unit namesake
The Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club offers after-school programming and social activities to disadvantaged youth in Owensboro, KY, serving approximately 2,000 children annually. The organization has built the new Mike Horn Unit, a 26,000-sq. ft. facility to serve as the main branch, and operates a unit of the Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club in collaboration with the Housing Authority of Owensboro and a teen center in collaboration with the City of Owensboro. In addition to Cliff Hagan Boys & Girls Club, the following community groups will serve to benefit from the new field: City of Owensboro and Daviess County recreational league teams, Housing Authority of Owensboro, H.L. Neblett Community Center and the Girls, Inc. softball team. Boys & Girls Clubs of America is the official charity of Major League Baseball.
This is the second Baseball Tomorrow Fund grant awarded to the state of Kentucky. In 2001, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awarded at $37,000 grant to Paris Independent Schools (Paris, KY) to fund a baseball and softball field on the Paris High School grounds.
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund is designed to promote and enhance the growth of baseball throughout the world by funding programs, field improvements and equipment purchases to encourage and maintain youth participation in baseball and softball. Since its inception in 1999, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund has awarded grants totaling more than $9 million, benefiting nearly 109,000 youth participating in more than 180 youth baseball and softball programs across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, U.S. Virgin Islands and Europe. For more information visit www.baseballtomorrowfund.com.