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High & Inside: Rockies Community Newsletter

April 2014

This Months Features:

Click on the title to jump to each story.

KINDNESS MATTERS - ROCKIES HOME RUN FOR KINDNESS

Home Runs for Kindness

The Rockies Home Run for Kindness Program is off and running!

On April 21 and 22, Rockies players and coaches visited 11 schools in Denver to chat with high school students about the importance of performing random acts of kindness in their everyday lives.

While the Rockies have long had a character education program for elementary school students ("Make An Impact") and recently added a physical education program for middle school kids ("Next Level Challenge"), Rockies Home Run for Kindness is the club's first official program designed to transform the halls of area high schools.

Rockies Home Run for Kindness, a cooperative program between The Foundation For A Better Life and The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, is the first of its kind in Major League Baseball. By encouraging students to do at least 90 random acts of kindness, the overarching goal of the program is to combat violence in schools and encourage a culture of kindness in each school. For the first-ever Rockies Home Run for Kindness group, 11 pilot high schools were selected from the Denver Public Schools system: Abraham Lincoln High School, Bruce Randolph High School, Career Education Center Middle College, Contemporary Learning Academy High School, George Washington High School, Martin Luther King Jr. Early College, John F. Kennedy High School, North High School, South High School, Summit Academy and Thomas Jefferson High School.

And each school has at least one Rockies player paired with them as their Rockies representative for kindness, visiting the school and speaking to students about their experiences in baseball and life. Participating players included Nolan Arenado, Brandon Barnes, Matt Belisle, Charlie Blackmon, Rex Brothers, Tyler Chatwood, Michael Cuddyer, Jorge De La Rosa, Carlos Gonzalez, LaTroy Hawkins, Justin Morneau, Franklin Morales, Jordan Pacheco, Wilin Rosario, Drew Stubbs and others.

As soon as school visits were completed by players and staff from the Rockies, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and The Foundation For A Better Life, students immediately took to social media to share with the world the random acts of kindness they were doing on a daily basis. Students from these schools demonstrated that random acts of kindness do not have to be big initiatives or things that require a great deal of time or effort; they can be as simple as holding the door for someone, buying lunch for a friend, having a friendly conversation with someone new or simply being nice to someone.

Even though several schools have already surpassed their goal of 90 random acts of kindness, there are still a few weeks left for students to let the Rockies know the great things they're doing to transform the culture of their school through kindness. And on Saturday, May 17, leaders from each school will attend the Rockies game at Coors Field, and will be honored in a pregame ceremony alongside their player representative. On top of that, a select group of three schools were also invited to Coors Field on May 2 for their earlier random acts of kindness work during the Aspen Challenge, a program that provides students with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and collaborate with peers.

Only time will tell if the Rockies Home Run for Kindness Program is able to, in fact, decrease violence in schools, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.

Click the button below for more information on the Rockies Home Run for Kindness Program, including additional information and lesson plans from The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and a look at the acts of kindness shared by each school.

Home Runs for Kindness

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - #SLCROADTRIP, PART DEUX

Dinger's Road Trip

As Rockies fans know by now, Dinger enjoys taking road trips. Loading up the Dinger van and venturing out into the Front Range and beyond, Dinger has taken recent road trips to Albuquerque, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City and many places in between. And on the heels of a road trip to Salt Lake City at the end of Spring Training 2013, Dinger and Co. returned to Salt Lake this month to visit the great Rockies fans in Utah and see the sights in the "Beehive State."

#SLCRoadTrip, part two.

After safely navigating through a snow storm in the Rocky Mountains on April 13, the Dinger arrived in Grand Junction in preparation for a school visit in Palisade, Colo., the next day. The students, teachers and parents of Taylor Elementary School in Palisade were treated to a school assembly like no other and learned important lessons from their favorite purple dinosaur, as well as special guest star Corky Coyote, mascot of the Grand Junction Rockies. At the conclusion of the first school visit, Dinger and the Rockies visited some outstanding Rockies and Grand Junction Rockies fans before hitting the road again for the haul to Salt Lake City.

Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake, Dinger stopped by the Utah Jazz's final home game of the season to hang out with his friend Bear, mascot for the Jazz. The two hung out in Bear's cave before venturing out onto the court just before tipoff. It was a great way to top off a great day of travel and Dinger went to bed exhausted.

The next morning, Dinger and his caravan were up bright and early with two more school visits on the docket: one at West Valley Elementary and the second at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School. In a special and unexpected treat, the kids at St. Vincent were the first people to sing "Happy Birthday" to Dinger on the day before his 20th birthday. On their way out of town, the caravan stopped by the gorgeous Great Salt Lake and then visited Utah Olympic Park in Park City.

The second #SLCRoadTrip was short and sweet, but full of community outreach opportunities for the Rockies' friends in Utah and Colorado's Western Slope.

WIN A T-SHIRT, SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE - BARNES' AND CUDDYER'S 108 STITCHES T-SHIRTS

Win a T-Shirt

Rockies outfielders Brandon Barnes and Michael Cuddyer know the importance of giving back, and both men use a variety of platforms to make a difference in the community. One way Barnes and Cuddy support causes important to them is through partnerships with T-shirt companies 108 Stitches (Barnes and Cuddyer) and Athlete's Brand (Barnes) that include a cash donation to a charity of their choice with the purchase of each of their custom shirts.

The Rockies recently purchased some of Barnes' and Cuddy's T-shirts and will be giving them away on Twitter for the weekly #RoxTshirtTues sweepstakes, so be sure to follow @Rockies and be ready to retweet for a good cause on some upcoming Tuesdays!

A BUSY WEEKEND - DINGER IN THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY

Dinger

On April 26 and 27, Dinger made his presence felt at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Art Museum for two separate events with the Mexican Cultural Center. The first event was in celebration of the 13th annual "Día Del Niño," or "Kid's Day," a day of family-oriented activities spread across the City of Denver at key museums and attractions. The full weekend actually began on Friday when Dinger participated in Clinica Tepeyac's annual "Tortillas for Tepeyac" fundraiser with his friend Miles from the Denver Broncos. There is never a quiet weekend if you're Dinger!

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - BRANDON BARNES

Brandon Barnes

Rockies outfielder Brandon Barnes is quickly making a name for himself among Rockies fans due to his all-out approach to playing the game and his penchant for delivering in key situations.

The tattooed sensation has had an outstanding start to his career in purple pinstripes, hitting .333 (18-for-54) in his first 24 games, with 2 doubles, a triple and 3 stolen bases, as of April 28. In Spring Training, Barnes was named co-winner of the Abby Greer Award, given each year to the top player or players in Major League Spring Training Camp, and the Orange, Calif., native carried that momentum into the early season.

Acquired in an offseason trade, along with right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles, in exchange for outfielder Dexter Fowler, Barnes was a two-sport superstar in high school who had a Division-I scholarship to play football before deciding to pursue a career in baseball. As a member of the Houston Astros, Barnes hit for the cycle last season on July 19, and stung the Rockies with a walk-off ground-rule double last year on May 27.

Barnes and his wife, Shawn, have two daughters, Kenadie and Tatum, and the Barnes family is very community-oriented, heavily involved with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.