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High & Inside: Rockies Community Newsletter

Summer 2015

This Issue's Features:

Click on the title to jump to each story.

Kendrick's Krew

Kendrick's Krew

Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick has a passion for making a difference in the lives of children with Down Syndrome, which inspired him to create Kendrick's Krew, a program he started in Philadelphia and has carried on with the Rockies.

"It started about three years ago," Kendrick says of the early days of the program when he was a Phillie. "My wife has a good friend whose aunt has Down Syndrome and she's always been a big fan of mine. She used to write me letters and send me text messages."

Kendrick and his wife, Stephanie, provide game tickets to a group of children, usually in a catered suite at the ballpark, as well as Kendrick's Krew T-shirts. Kendrick's Krew also gets to meet Kendrick on the field prior to the game for a meet-and-greet complete with autographs and photos. Here in Colorado, Kyle and Stephanie have been working with Special Olympics Colorado and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation to determine each group of Kendrick's Krew kids.

There have already been three different Kendrick's Krew groups at Coors Field this year and there are three more scheduled through the remainder of the season. It's a program Kyle and Stephanie greatly enjoy doing and plan on continuing for years to come.

"Giving back in this way is something I enjoy and it always puts a smile on my face," Kendrick says. "[The kids] enjoy coming to the games, it's something that means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to them as well."

UPLIFTING - Baseball Clinic at Buckley Air Force Base

Air Force Base

On Friday, June 19, a group of Rockies players and staff visited Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., for a special baseball clinic with Air Force families.

Arriving at the base at 10 a.m., LaTroy Hawkins, Nick Hundley and Scott Oberg, along with Major League Operations Assistant/Bullpen Catcher Pat Burgess and former Rockie Jason Hirsh spent time with families stationed on the base. After introductions, kids were split up into groups to go through hitting, pitching and fielding stations led by the big leaguers. And at the conclusion of the clinic, there was time set aside for photos and autographs.

BUILDING A FOUNDATION - Carlos Gonzalez Foundation

Carlos Gonzalez

The Carlos Gonzalez Foundation is up and running, providing Carlos and his wife, Indonesia, a platform for making a difference in the Colorado community through various events and fundraisers.

The scope of CarGo's community work is broad. Earlier this season, the Gonzalez family made a $100,000 donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver and through his new "Clearing the Bases for Charity" program, there is the promise of much more money to come. For every one of Gonzalez's home runs this season, he pledges to donate $1,000 to the Boys and Girls Clubs, and $500 for every RBI.

"Ever since I was a little kid growing up in Venezuela, I always wanted to have a foundation as a way to help other people," Gonzalez says. "My dream was to be a big league player, and once I had the opportunity to play in the big leagues, I wanted to help kids reach their goals however I could. Kids are our future. They're going to be the next doctors. They're going to be the next teachers. They're going to be the next big league players. When you're young, it's important to have someone to help you and push you to be the best you can be."

The Carlos Gonzalez Foundation also hosts the annual 5 Tool Camp on July 23, and the Stars and Strikes celebrity bowling event is scheduled for Aug. 17.

"The things we do are fun for everybody in my family," Gonzalez says. "Having my son, my wife and my family around make things even more enjoyable. I have fun all the time, meeting people and I really enjoy doing community work."

SPECIAL DELIVERY - Rockies Ticket Specials

Ticket Special

There's nothing better than spending a summer night at Coors Field, and there are Rockies ticketing options to fit all budgets!

Whether it's the Wednesday HOT ROX Deal, Coca-Cola Value Packs, Blake Street Steal or one of our other great deals, Rockies.com/specials is the place for the best deals on Rockies tickets!

KEEP IT CLEAN - Boys & Girls Club Field Cleanup

Field Clean Up

On Friday, May 29, the Colorado Rockies grounds crew and staff came together to participate in a cleanup of Andres Galarraga Field at the Boys & Girls Club Owen Branch in Lakewood.

Scheduled just before summer begins, this is an annual opportunity for the Rockies staff to plant gardens, spread new field dirt and tidy up the club's field. It was a beautiful sunny day, amid the seemingly endless rain the grounds crew had battled in the early part of the season-a welcome change for the best grounds crew in baseball, who earlier this year, donated field maintenance equipment to the Boys & Girls Club. The Rockies take pride in making Andres Galarraga Field a well-kept and safe place for children to play.

BIG LEAGUE CAMP - Colorado Rockies Youth Baseball Camp

Youth Baseball Camp

Now in its fourth year, the Colorado Rockies Youth Baseball Camp presented by Sports Authority has fast become one of the most anticipated events on the calendar for young baseball players. And for good reason: This event is the big league experience.

The Rockies Major League coaching staff ran the camp instructional stations each morning, including Vinny Castilla, Stu Cole, Blake Doyle, Rene Lachemann, Tom Runnells and Eric Young. Rockies Director of Physical Performance Gabe Bauer and Head Athletic Trainer Keith Dugger were also on hand to lend their expertise, as well as former Rockies Jason Hirsh and Cory Sullivan. After stretch and warm-ups, teams broke off into station work around the ballpark. Stations included hitting, pitching and baserunning on Day 1, followed by outfield, infield, bunting and more hitting and pitching on Day 2 of the camp. Afternoons featured team competition, as well as a skills challenge.

And on both days during lunch, campers and their families enjoyed a special treat: a visit from a current Rockies player!

Youth Baseball Camp

On Tuesday, June 23, campers were visited by Rockies Manager Walt Weiss, who discussed the importance of hard work and answered questions from fans. The next day, Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado visited with campers and offered his perspective on many of the same topics. To close out the two-day event, all the participants gathered for an all-camp photo with Weiss.

All proceeds from the camp benefit Colorado Rockies Charities. Roster spots for the Colorado Rockies Youth Baseball Camp presented by Sports Authority fill up quickly, so be sure to email rockiescamp@rockies.com and be on the lookout for more information early next season on how you can participate.

SUMMER CAMP - Zac Brown Band at Coors Field and Camp Southern Ground

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band is coming to Coors Field on July 3, for the first-ever stand-alone concert at Coors Field. Recently added to the bill is Colorado's own Big Head Todd and the Monsters, adding some local flavor to the Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum Zac Brown Band. While the show is sure to be a great night at 20th and Blake, Zac Brown Band is grounded in their passion for making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children with neurobehavioral challenges.

Zac Brown Band's Camp Southern Ground is a summer camp for children with a special focus on serving children with special needs like Autism and other neurobehavioral challenges. Funded by traditional charitable dollars, including significant support from Zac and Shelly Brown and the entire Southern Ground Family, the camp is intended for children who cannot afford a camp experience or have other obstacles to entry for other camps. Nearly one million dollars is donated each year from the band's concert ticket sales. The camp website is www.campsouthernground.org.

A limited number of tickets are still available for Zac Brown Band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters and can be purchased below.

LOCAL HERO - Honor a Breaking Barriers Essay Contest Winner

Breaking Barriers Essay Winner

At the beginning of the season, a Lakewood, Colo., native was named a national winner of Major League Baseball's Breaking Barriers essay contest, and LaTroy Hawkins, along with Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, were on hand for the presentation.

On April 21, Hawkins spent the morning at Bethlehem Lutheran School after fifth grader Aiden Hamilton was honored as one of the "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" essay contest winners. Hamilton's story about breaking his own barriers in his life, namely his battle with epilepsy and autism, focused on his determination to overcome his health issues. Hamilton was one of 10 national winners, being selected out of about 16,000 total essays.

Robinson was happy to be in Colorado to meet Aidan and said the essay contest teaches students valuable lessons.

"We help kids realize obstacles are a part of life and we have strategies to overcome them," Robinson said. "Kids have so many challenges in their lives. We want them to know they can be strong and have a structure that allows them to overcome obstacles going forward."

Hawkins answered questions from students in the school gym after Hamilton was honored, and Hamilton was also recognized at that night's Rockies game, alongside Robinson and Hawkins.

Wives Program

Rockies Wives

The Colorado Rockies Wives continue to make a difference in the Colorado community through various annual charity fundraisers.

On May 22 and 23, the Rockies Wives hosted their annual Grab Bags fundraiser event. For $40 donated to charity, fans could purchase a bag containing an autographed ball signed by a mystery player. All proceeds from the Grab Bags stay local and benefit one of the Rockies' longtime partners, Make-A-Wish Colorado, to support children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

Along with the Grab Bags Event, the Rockies Wives hosted their annual Food Drive at Coors Field on June 9. Set up at the gates as fans entered the ballpark, the Rockies Wives were there to collect any non-perishable food items as well as cash donations. All food and funds collected from the food drive benefit the Denver Rescue Mission.