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High & Inside: Rockies Community Newsletter

September / October 2014

This Months Features:

Click on the title to jump to each story.

A Dinner Like No Other - Home Run for Kindness Dinner

Home Run for Kindness Dinner

The Colorado Rockies Home Run for Kindness Dinner took place on Sept. 11 at Coors Field. A fundraiser for Colorado Rockies Charities, the event provided fans with the unique opportunity to enjoy a memorable night at the ballpark while spotlighting the Rockies' Home Run for Kindness Program. New in 2014, the Rockies Home Run for Kindness Program was founded with partners Foundation For A Better Life and the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and aims to eradicate violence in Denver-area schools through the practice of random acts of kindness on an everyday basis.

Originally scheduled for dinner to be served on the field, weather concerns forced the event to be relocated indoors, but not before guests could enjoy cocktails on the field and in the clubhouse. There were great auction items available, all money going to charity. After dinner was served on the Club level, guests were treated to a video and guest speakers who discussed and demonstrated the importance of practicing kindness in everyday life. Rockies Owner/Chairman & CEO Dick Monfort provided closing remarks, saying, among other things, "Almost everything in this world costs something, but kindness is free."

The Rockies are already looking forward to next year's Rockies Home Run for Kindness Dinner and the second-installment of the high school visit program in 2015. Click below for more information on the Rockies Home Run for Kindness Program and Dinner.

Home Run for Kindness Dinner

Honoring the Honorable - 2014 Hispanic Adult Leadership Award

2014 marked the 12th year of the Colorado Rockies Hispanic Adult Leadership Award and there was another outstanding group of finalists for this year's award, all of whom were honored at Coors Field before a September game. Saturday, Sept. 20, was the culmination of Hispanic Heritage Awareness Month with the winner of the 2014 award announced in a pregame ceremony. More on this year's winner and finalists is listed below or click below for more information on the Rockies' Adult Leadership Award.

Hispanic Leadership Award Finalists

Dr. Ruby Martinez, finalist - Dr. Martinez has been an influential presence in the community from a young age, beginning with her service on the Youth Conservation Corp in Rocky Mountain National Park in high school. In 1998, Dr. Martinez was invited to serve a four-year term on the National Advisor Council for the Center of Mental Health Services. This group was responsible for making recommendations regarding needed areas of research in mental health and methods to identify best practices. In 2000, Dr. Martinez became one of the founding members of the National Association of Latino Behavioral Health. She had envisioned the formation of this non-profit, which would bring together many parties to focus on Latino mental health throughout the nation. Dr. Martinez served as the secretary, President Elect, as well as President of this nonprofit. Ruby has also volunteered her time in elementary school classrooms, mentoring Latino students on various subjects. One of her current mentees will be the first in her family to attend college.

Jamie Torres, finalist - Jamie is a dedicated civil servant who is passionate about her community. Jamie serves as Deputy Director for the Mayor's Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships and Director, Denver Office of Community Support. In this position, she coordinates city wide immigrant and refugee integration efforts. She has recently joined the board of Denver Community Ventures, the non-profit arm of the Denver Housing Authority. Her volunteer efforts span from Girl's Inc., where she once frequented as a little girl, to hosting fundraisers on behalf of crime victims, and more. Jamie has an undying love to serve her community of Denver, and her dedication is apparent in all of her volunteer and community efforts.

Laura Doanes

Rosa Marie Vergil Garcia, finalist - Rosa has dedicated her life to educating families about the resources available to them in times of need. She has worked with her current organization, Fresh Start, for 10 years, and continues to help the community outside of her work. She is very involved in her church, and is always on call for those in need. She has four children of her own, as well as six foster children, whom have all attended college and graduated. She helps every year to coordinate a Christmas party for children in the neighborhood that do otherwise not receive Christmas gifts, and continually helps students secure scholarships for college. She has been a Colorado resident for 31 years and is proud to serve her local community.

Laura Doanes, winner - Laura is currently a Nurse Team Manager at Clinica Family Health Services. She immigrated to the United States when she was 25 years old, and has worked hard to obtain an education and use her knowledge to support the health and well-being of others, especially in the Hispanic Community. Laura is actively involved in her church and coordinates volunteer care for members of her congregation. Laura has previously been elected as the Secretary for the Colorado Student Nurses Association, and was tasked with providing a voice for Hispanic nurses and increasing awareness of needs for the Hispanic population. She also coordinates a weekly hiking group that incorporates health-related discussions to help women with topics that are relevant to them. She has a passion for helping patients in the community, and educating individuals to ensure they can live a healthy, better life.

Rescue Mission Missions - Volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission

Denver Rescue Mission

On Sept. 18, Rockies players and staff stopped by the Denver Rescue Mission's Lawrence Street Shelter to help prepare and serve lunch. The shelter, one of the busiest in Denver, provides emergency care to the poor and homeless, and up to 1,000 meals are served daily in the dining room. Upon arrival, the Rockies immediately began to work, preparing food, serving patrons and bussing tables. The players-Cristhian Adames, Christian Bergman, Rex Brothers, Eddie Butler, LaTroy Hawkins, Tommy Kahnle, Ben Paulsen, Rob Scahill and Rafael Ynoa-were more than happy to help and were able to serve more than 250 people during the busy lunch hour rush.

Retired Rockies great Todd Helton also made an appearance at the Denver Rescue Mission on Oct. 14 for a Hunt.Fish.Feed event run by the Sportsman Channel. Helton helped serve over 300 people a special venison chili prepared by Scott Leysath, host of "The Sporting Chef" on the Sportsman Channel. Despite his retirement from baseball, Helton is still very active in the Denver community today.

Brandon Barnes

Different Colors, Same Cause - MLBPA K Cancer Day

Across MLB, Strikeout Cancer Day took place on Sept. 2, as every player wore a special "K Cancer" shirt in their team's colors for batting practice in an effort to raise awareness and funds for cancer-related charities across the United States. Each team supported a different cancer-fighting charitable organization, selected at the suggestion of the team's player representative.

The Rockies player representative, Brandon Barnes, and the rest of the Rockies wore their K Cancer shirts in support of The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. There were great auction items, with all money going to charity. Fans can join the MLB players in helping to strike out cancer by purchasing a K Cancer shirt at 108stitches.com; with the purchase of a Rockies K Cancer tee, $5 will go to the Jason Motte Foundation, and $5 will go to The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

Career Fair

Teaching Career Possibilities - DPS Career Fair

On Oct. 22, the Rockies participated in the Denver Public Schools (DPS) 8th Grade Career Fair. The 5th annual DPS Career Fair was held at the National Western Complex in Denver, with numerous local businesses on hand to educate students on career opportunities in their field of work.

The primary objective of the event is to expose students to the vast scope of careers available and to help them plan for their future. Students who visited the Rockies table were interested to learn that the club is far more than just the players on the field, and jobs in baseball include sales, marketing, engineering, communications and more.

Player Spotlight - Tyler Matzek

Tyler Matzek

After spending four seasons in the Minors, Rockies LHP Tyler Matzek, 24, burst onto the Major League scene in 2014. Called up from AAA on June 11, Matzek went seven strong innings, giving up only two earned runs while striking out seven and walking none against the Atlanta Braves. The stellar outing set the tone for Matzek, who proved down the stretch that he is capable of being a top of the rotation starter. Through his last seven starts, Matzek had a 1.90 ERA, averaged 6.2 innings per start, struck out 43 batters and twirled a complete-game shutout against the Padres at Coors Field, the first Rockies pitcher to accomplish that feat since Jhoulys Chacin in 2011.

Drafted out of Capistrano Valley High School in Southern California with the 11th overall pick in 2009, the highly-touted lefty dominated in his first season in the minors. After struggles with his command in 2011, the Rockies had Matzek work with his high school pitching coach, and the strategy paid off. Matzek returned to High-A Modesto in 2012 and cut his walks-per-nine innings in half, going from 12.5 BB/9 in 2011 to 6.0. He has improved that mark every year since, and finished his first Major League season with a 3.4 BB/9, the lowest of his career, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.07, the highest of his career.

After a breakout 2014, Matzek looks to continue his success and become a key member of the Rockies 2015 starting rotation.