Results tagged ‘ Cubs Charities ’

Cubs and Wood Family Foundation celebrate the opening of Kerry Wood Cubs Field

Kerry-Wood-Cubs-FieldChicago high school and youth baseball players looking to sharpen their five tools or become the next “Kid K” in the majors now have a new baseball field on which to hone their talents.

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts, 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar and Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly attended the Kerry Wood Cubs Field grand opening and ceremonial ribbon cutting on Thursday.

The new ballpark located near Lane Tech High School on Addison Street, about a mile from Wrigley Field, is owned and operated by the Chicago Park District. The field includes seating for 1,250 spectators and fans and will be used for Chicago Public High School League baseball games, and as a potential host site for IHSA state baseball playoffs. The Park District also will make the field available for recreational leagues and use by the general public.

The Cubs, Cubs Charities, Wood Family Foundation, City of Chicago, State of Illinois, Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and Turner Construction all contributed to make the ballpark project possible.

“Cubs Charities believes developing the next generation of All-Stars starts with a strong foundation in health, fitness and education,” said Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts. “Our support of Kerry Wood Cubs Field underscores our commitment to improving the quality of life in our great city and fostering a love of baseball.”

Kerry Wood has been actively involved in the community during and after an illustrious career that included two All-Star appearances, National League Rookie of the Year honors and a share of the record for most strikeouts in a nine-inning game, 20, on May 6, 1998, against the Houston Astros. Kerry and his wife Sarah formed the Wood Family Foundation in 2011. The foundation works to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago by raising funds and awareness for its children’s programs and other children’s charities they support. Their support to build Kerry Wood Cubs Field is a visible sign of their family’s commitment to Chicago youth and families.

“It’s very exciting to see Kerry Wood Cubs Field open and ready for kids to start playing baseball,” Wood said. “I am humbled by the generosity of the Chicago Cubs, Cubs Charities, City of Chicago and Chicago Park District for making this dream a reality, not only for me and my family, but for all of the youth baseball players who will have the opportunity to play at the field.”

Beyond a field of dreams for young baseball players, Kerry Wood Cubs Field will be a strong community anchor to enhance the surrounding area, increase recreational activities and improve the quality of life for Chicago residents.

“Once again, the Chicago Park District is pleased to partner with the Chicago Cubs,” Kelly said. “The new Kerry Wood Cubs Field is a great investment in the community and will further strengthen our efforts to ensure that America’s favorite pastime continues to grow in Chicago’s parks.”

Alderman Ameya Pawar praised the public-private partnership as a driving force behind the successful completion of the project.

“I’m happy to see Kerry Wood Cubs Field open at Clark Park,” Pawar said. “I’m proud of the partnership between my office and the Chicago Cubs, Wood Family Foundation, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Public Schools and the Clark Park Advisory Council—together we took this idea from a concept to reality.”

“It is fantastic that a ballpark of this magnitude will be available to high school students across the city who want to develop and showcase their talents,” said Morgan Park High School baseball coach Earnest Radcliffe. “Playing at Kerry Wood Cubs Field will give these student athletes a sense of pride, especially understanding this field was named after one of the best pitchers to ever play the game.”

Following the ribbon cutting, Kerry Wood threw a ceremonial first pitch, and the field was immediately opened for community residents to enjoy. The first high school regular season game will be played in March of 2016.


Cubs Charities launches the Cubs on the Move Fitness Challenge

Cubs Charities launched the Cubs on the Move Fitness Challenge, a program and contest designed to get kids in the Chicagoland area active, beginning today and running through Dec. 1. The Cubs on the Move Fitness Challenge was inspired by the success of the Cubs on the Move Fitness Program in motivating kids in Chicago to play every day. The program has been developed for Cubs Charities through By Kids For Kids (BKFK).

The Cubs on the Move Fitness Challenge aims to provide educators with resources to promote physical activity in the classroom while empowering kids ages 5-13 in the Chicago area to develop ideas to keep themselves, their schools and their communities active for healthy bodies and minds. Details about the educational program and contest, as well as teacher guides, program flyers and activity materials, can be downloaded at

The program includes a contest encouraging teachers to log minutes spent on physical activity in the classroom, as well as an individual competition to bring out the best ideas from students to promote physical fitness at their schools. Prizes include tickets to a Cubs game with on-field recognition, a Cubs Fitness Ambassadorship and Cubs on the Move Fitness Assemblies for schools.

“We’re proud to introduce the Cubs on the Move Fitness Challenge and excited to see kids across the Chicago area participate,” said Cubs Executive Vice President of Community Affairs Mike Lufrano. “Cubs Charities promotes improvements in health, fitness and education. By encouraging students to participate and providing educators and parents with resources to promote the value of physical exercise, we hope to help improve physical activity and performance inside and outside the classroom.”

The program was introduced to students, teachers and media at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy in Lakeview Monday morning. Cubs catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber and Clark, the Cubs’ mascot, joined a fourth grade class at Hawthorne Academy in a “Catch a Break” exercise designed to keep students active with various baseball exercises.

School officials and Cubs Charities also celebrated the completion of the school’s new fitness center, funded by a grant from Cubs Charities and decorated with paint provided by the team’s corporate partner, Benjamin Moore.

Cubs to collect funds for Illinois tornado victims

The Cubs announced Monday that the organization and its fans will help those affected by tornadoes that swept through Fairdale and Rochelle, Illinois, last week, during Tuesday night’s game against the Reds.

Cubs associates will collect monetary donations at the gates at Wrigley Field before the start of the game. Money raised during the evening will benefit the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation to support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the tornadoes.

Proceeds from the night’s Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle also will benefit the cause.

The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort, a campaign of the McCormick Foundation, supports nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hit hardest by the tornadoes. The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar. All administrative costs are paid by the foundation and its partners, allowing 100 percent of all funds raised, plus the match, to be granted directly to nonprofit organizations helping those most affected by the storm.

Fans who cannot attend the game but would like to make a donation to the tornado disaster relief effort can give through Sunday, April 19, by visiting

Bricks and Ivy Ball raises more than $1.3 million for Cubs Charities

On Wednesday night, guests gathered at Union Station to show their support for Cubs Charities at the fifth annual Bricks and Ivy Ball. The evening featured the 2015 Chicago Cubs team and coaching staff mingling with more than 700 guests in attendance and collected more than $1.35 million to support Cubs Charities’ programs.

“Each year, we look forward to our Bricks and Ivy Ball as a way to celebrate the impact Cubs Charities is making in communities all across Chicago,” said Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts. “We are proud of the success of this event over the last five years. The support from our fans, corporate Chicago, and our coaches, players and front office help to fuel our community outreach and charitable giving. Together, we are creating a brighter future for Chicago’s next generation of all-stars.”

Cubs Charities sponsors three ongoing Signature Programs to further its mission to increase access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. The Cubs on the Move Fitness Program promotes a fitness plan and healthy eating campaign while encouraging kids to “Play Every Day.” The Cubs Charities Diamond Project expands opportunities for children to play baseball by creating or preserving green space and baseball facilities. Finally, the Cubs Scholars program offers quality scholarship and financial contributions for Chicago area high school students, coupled with a program that promotes academic achievement and encourages post-secondary educational advancement.

Last year, the Cubs and Cubs Charities combined to support donations of more than $4.5 million in addition to giving thousands of autographed items, experiences and tickets to deserving nonprofit organizations. For more information, please visit

Cubs to donate net proceeds from Cubs Authentics sales to Cubs Charities

The Chicago Cubs today announced net proceeds from all MLB-authenticated, game-used and autographed Cubs memorabilia sold through Cubs Authentics will be donated to Cubs Charities. These funds will help support Cubs Charities’ mission to harness the passion of Cubs fans to improve the lives of children and families across Chicago.

“Part of the Cubs’ mission is to support our community and be good neighbors. Cubs Charities is very excited to partner with Cubs Authentics to help improve the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond,” said Connie Falcone, vice president of development for Cubs Charities. “We hope our fans are just as excited to build their collection of authenticated Cubs memorabilia while supporting great causes through Cubs Charities.”

Cubs Authentics, which launched at the beginning of the 2012 season, is the premier outlet for MLB-authenticated Cubs memorabilia, including game-used jerseys and baseballs, autographed items and one-of-a-kind Wrigley Field Collection items.

Fans and collectors interested in supporting Cubs Charities through the purchase of Cubs Authentics memorabilia can find autographed baseballs, bats and jerseys from new and returning players at You can also pre-purchase game-used bases from Opening Night featuring a commemorative base jewel honoring Ernie Banks; bases from the team’s April home series vs. the Cardinals, Padres and Pirates with specialty matchup base jewels; plus a Jackie Robinson Day base jewel from April 15 vs. the Reds.

Shortly after the Cubs opening series vs. the Cardinals, fans will be able to bid online on a variety of rare merchandise collected by Cubs Authentics, including game-used baseballs, bases, bats, jerseys, nameplates and lineup cards. Cubs Authentics will host an online auction with items collected during Spring Training as well, featuring Spring Training locker room nameplates and game-used hats—including green St. Patrick’s Day hats.

Cubs Charities announces “Let’s Give” campaign


Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts at the 2014 Bricks and Ivy Ball. (Photo by Stephen Green)

This season, Cubs Charities will roll out a “Let’s Give” initiative in conjunction with the organization’s 2015 marketing campaign, “Let’s Go.” This yearlong charitable campaign will include Cubs Charities events, player fundraisers and various programs benefiting the Chicago community. These charitable efforts will be highlighted in the team’s community newsletter and on Cubs’ social media platforms using the hashtag #LetsGive.

The campaign also will include Cubs players and associates engaging in community service projects throughout the season. These include programs aiming to increase access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Cubs Charities sponsors three ongoing signature programs to further this mission. The Cubs on the Move Fitness Program promotes a fitness plan and healthy eating campaign while encouraging kids to “Play Every Day.” The Cubs Charities Diamond Project expands opportunities for children to play baseball by creating or preserving green space and baseball facilities. Finally, the Cubs Scholars program offers quality scholarship and financial contributions for Chicago-area high school students, coupled with a program that promotes academic achievement and encourages post-secondary educational advancement.

On April 17, Cubs manager Joe Maddon will introduce his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game this season, Maddon will represent a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization’s T-shirt during his postgame press conferences. Each T-shirt worn this season will represent a Chicago nonprofit supported by Cubs Charities.

The list of “Let’s Give” Cubs Charities and player foundation events follows, with future events and appearances possible throughout the season.

2015 Cubs Charities “Let’s Give” Events
Bricks and Ivy Ball, April 8

The annual Bricks and Ivy Ball is Cubs Charities’ primary fundraising event. This year’s Bricks and Ivy Ball will feature a fun ’80s theme at historic Union Station. Chicago Cubs players, coaches, alumni, owners and management will be in attendance for an evening of musical entertainment, cocktails and dinner. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on unique live and silent auction items. Net proceeds will benefit Cubs Charities. For more information, visit

10th Annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run, April 25
The Chicago Cubs will host the 10th annual Race to Wrigley Charity Run presented by ATI Physical Therapy Saturday, April 25, outside Wrigley Field. In recognition of Race to Wrigley’s 10th anniversary, the Cubs will introduce an additional race, the “Let’s Run Two” 10K. The course routes for the 5K and 10K will allow race participants to run through the streets of Lakeview before returning to the Friendly Confines. For more information, visit

Annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon, April 29
The Chicago Cubs will team up with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation for the annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon in the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. Cubs Charities and Cubs Care will grant money to nonprofit organizations serving those in need in the Chicago area. Last year, the Cubs and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation distributed more than $1.1 million in grants.

Cubs Charities Pink Out, May 11
Cubs Charities, together with partner Advocate Health Care, will “Pink Out” the Budweiser Bleachers Monday, May 11. Each fan attending the game in the Budweiser Bleachers that day will receive a Cubs Charities “Pink Out” T-shirt to celebrate moms and women everywhere who are survivors and to promote breast cancer prevention awareness. For more information, visit

Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation’s Cook-Off for Cancer, May 14
The Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation will celebrate its third annual Cook-Off for Cancer, which will feature upscale versions of ballpark food prepared by notable Chicago chefs and served by Cubs players at Revel Downtown. Guests will vote for their favorite chefs and dishes by tipping their Cubs server. Tips and event net proceeds will benefit pediatric cancer research as well as provide support to children and their families battling the disease. For more information, visit

Jake Arrieta Presents Catch in the Confines, June 13
Families, friends and fans of all ages will have the opportunity to spend 50 minutes playing catch in the outfield, visiting the batting cage and chatting in the dugout during this year’s Catch in the Confines at Wrigley Field. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta will host a meet and greet with all participants as well as take photos and sign autographs. Tickets for the event benefit the Cubs Scholars program, which gives deserving students the chance to receive a college education. For more information, visit

Kerry and Friends Battle of the Bats Home Run Derby, June 18
The Wood Family Foundation will join Cubs Charities to host the first-ever home run derby at Wrigley Field. Kerry Wood and other Cubs alumni will coach players to swing for the fences while competing for the ultimate title of Home Run Derby champion. Individuals will have to fundraise a minimum of $3,500, which will benefit underserved youth in Chicago through Cubs Charities and the Wood Family Foundation. For future information, visit

Foundation To Be Named Later’s Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago, July 9
The fourth annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert will rock Chicago again at Metro Chicago. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons, Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper and the Chicago Hot Stove All-Stars will take the stage for an evening of music and giving back to the Chicago community. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation To Be Named Later, started by Epstein and his twin brother Paul. The foundation raises funds and awareness for nonprofit agencies, working on the front lines, serving disadvantaged youth in the Greater Boston and Chicago areas. For more information, please visit

Jon Lester’s NVRQT 3 Up, 3 Down, Aug. 13
Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester will host his first fundraiser in Chicago this August. The 3 Up, 3 Down event will be a unique and fun take on the famous game show “Hollywood Squares.” Jon and his wife, Farrah, along with celebrities, coaches and teammates, will take part as contestants during the event. Fans can watch the excitement and partake in live and silent auctions. Proceeds from the event will benefit Lester’s NVRQT campaign, run by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF), which helps raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer research. For future information, visit

Joe Maddon’s Respect The Main Event, Sept. 2
Cubs manager Joe Maddon will host a boxing match fundraiser featuring amateur boxers from around Chicago. The event will raise money to keep Chicago youth college-bound and engaged through sports. For future information, visit

The Jason Motte Cornhole Challenge, Sept. 19
Cubs pitcher Jason Motte and his wife, Caitlin, will help strike out cancer again at the 2015 Jason Motte Cornhole Challenge at Wrigley Field. Teams of two will go head-to-head with other fans and Cubs players in the ultimate cornhole challenge on the warning track. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Jason Motte Foundation, which provides comfort and care where there is a need for those affected, either directly or indirectly, by cancers of all kinds. For future information, visit

Cubs announce Futures Game vs. Rangers at Sloan Park in Mesa

Sloan-ParkThe Chicago Cubs today announced details for a 2015 Futures Game featuring the Cubs vs. Texas Rangers on Monday, March 30, at Sloan Park in Mesa, Arizona. The best prospects and young players from each organization will showcase their talents when they take the field at 7 p.m. MST, after the Cubs host the San Francisco Giants at 1:05 p.m. MST.

Fans looking to catch the action can purchase general admission tickets in the reserved seating bowl for $6 at the Sloan Park Ticket Office or online at

A portion of the net proceeds from the game will benefit the Cubs Charities Diamond Project, which expands opportunities for children to play baseball in the Mesa community. Over the last four years, working with the Mesa Hohokam Foundation, Cubs Charities has raised funds to support youth sports, including the Mesa Little League.

The Diamond Project, one of Cubs Charities’ signature programs, was launched in 2014 and aims to provide funds to nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations to support capital improvement projects and improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local baseball fields. In addition, the program is intended to build an infrastructure through partnerships and resident involvement that will sustain these open spaces for the community.

The Rangers will donate their portion of the game’s proceeds to the Dane McDonald Safe at Home Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit started by AZL Rangers’ Hitting Coach Donzell McDonald in honor of his son, also the nephew of Cubs Mental Skills Program Coordinator Darnell McDonald.

Gates will open an hour before the start of the game. Parking in the general lots, located east of the ballpark, is complimentary. Fans with questions can contact For more information about Cubs Spring Training, please visit

Help the Cubs make the holidays happy at their annual toy drive

TREE_LIGHTING-CEREMONY-113012-DD-001(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs are inviting their fans to participate in a holiday toy drive benefiting children at Lawrence Hall Youth Services to conclude the team’s yearlong 100 Gifts of Service. Toys may be donated at the Cubs Store across from Wrigley Field beginning today until December 4 at 5:30 p.m., when the team will once again host a holiday celebration and tree lighting ceremony at the corner of Clark and Addison streets.

Fans and neighbors are invited to attend the tree-lighting ceremony and may bring their new, unwrapped toys to donate at the event. The large tree donated by Christy Webber Landscapes will stand at the northwest corner of the Clark and Addison intersection to avoid conflict with Wrigley Field construction. Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins will be joined by Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, President of Business Operations Crane Kenney and representatives from many of the organizations that benefited from the team’s 100 Gifts of Service this year. These 100 Gifts of Service represent a yearlong program featuring Cubs players and associates engaging in community service in celebration of Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday season.

For fans and neighbors who are unable to attend Thursday evening’s tree-lighting ceremony, the Cubs Store will accept new, unwrapped toys as donations during its business hours of 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Lawrence Hall Youth Services has compiled a wish list of desired toys (attached) that include action figures, board games, dolls, educational toys, puzzles, sporting equipment, stuffed animals, toy cars and more.

“Lawrence Hall’s foster care and treatment programs serve youth who have experienced trauma or neglect,” said Connie Falcone, vice president of development for Cubs Charities. “These holiday gifts will provide much-needed smiles to some very deserving children.”

In addition to the toy drive, fans worldwide can offer a monetary donation to Cubs Charities to support the toy drive and other programs targeting improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Those interested in donating are encouraged to do so on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 2), which is a global day dedicated to giving back. The Cubs will participate in the global #GivingTuesday social media campaign and request fans share both the #GivingTuesday and #CubsCharities hashtags when encouraging donations online. Donations to Cubs Charities may be submitted online at

Cubs Charities announces Centennial Seats public art project on the Mag Mile


To commemorate Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday and the many historical moments that have taken place at the park over the last century, Cubs Charities is honoring the Friendly Confines with a momentous philanthropic effort. Beginning May 30, Chicago’s Michigan Avenue lined with 50 custom-made pairs of ballpark seats.

The 100 seats each depict a special moment in time at Wrigley Field. Cubs Charities partnered with 47 Chicago-based nonprofits, celebrities and artists to paint the Centennial Seats, and they will be hosting an online auction where participants can place bids to purchase the seats. All proceeds from the nonprofit-designed chairs will be split between Cubs Charities and the respective partnering organization.

“This has been such a special year as we celebrate Wrigley Field and what the park has meant to Chicago over the past century,” said Laura Ricketts, Board Chair of Cubs Charities. “Cubs fans are truly the greatest in baseball, so we can’t wait to honor them by giving back to the community with this special Centennial Seats program.”

From Vince Vaughn and the Chicago Blackhawks, to the National Museum of Mexican Art and South Chicago Art Center, each organization or person has painted a scene that pays tribute to a specific moment in Wrigley Field history. Some of the memories include: Ernie Banks’ major league debut, the scoreboard installation, Babe Ruth’s “called shot” and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

The Centennial Seats will be on display along North Michigan Avenue throughout the summer. Participants can place bids for these one-of-a-kind chairs from May 30 through Aug. 10. The auction will be held online at

To help raise awareness and promote the auction, Cubs Charities is calling for Chicagoans and Cubs fans to get out their phones and tweet, post and Instagram photos of themselves with the Centennial Seats. Using the hashtags #WrigleyField100 and #CentennialSeats, passers-by will be able join the philanthropic effort and spread the word that all proceeds benefit a great local nonprofit. Additionally, a map has been created that pinpoints exactly where each nonprofit, celebrity or artist’s respective seat is located, making it easy to navigate the Centennial display. The Magnificent Mile Association partnered with the Cubs to make this public art project possible.

Sponsored by Magellan Corporation, the Centennial Seats will be installed the evening of May 29 for their morning debut Friday, May 30.

“We like to get involved with charitable projects that give back to our community—and this is possibly the most colorful and exciting one yet,” said Michael Minkus of Magellan Corporation. “We can’t wait to see the Centennial Seats set up on Michigan Avenue to kick off this charitable effort.”

The full list of participating nonprofits in the Centennial Seats program, as well as other information about Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday celebration, will be available beginning this Thursday at

From the Pages of Vine Line: The Cubs are giving 100 Gifts of Service


(Illustration by Jerry Neumann)

Most people looked at the Cubs Convention as the official kickoff to the Party of the Century, but the festivities actually began a few days earlier at the annual Cubs Caravan, when the team launched their new 100 Gifts of Service initiative.

Cubs associates, players, alumni and corporate partners will celebrate the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field by performing acts of service and volunteer projects in the community throughout the 2014 calendar year. So far, activities have included visiting hospital patients, serving lunch to active military at the USO and volunteering at local schools.

“The 100 Gifts of Service give everybody in the organization the opportunity to get out and interact with our fans and with families and kids in the community and see the result of having an impact on their lives,” said Jennifer Dedes Nowak, manager of Cubs Charities programs.

The Cubs are no strangers to community service. Every year, the team and Cubs Charities fund about $2.4 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and programs serving youth and families in need. They also donate thousands of autographed items and tickets to charitable organizations supporting health, fitness and education.

The Cubs are tracking their 100 Gifts of Service progress on the website and through social media. The goal is to perform 100 hands-on projects—both large and small—in 2014, but the Cubs hope to surpass that number before the year is out.

Future gifts include renovating Chicago playgrounds with Friends of the Parks and the Chicago Plays! program, helping get kids active with the Cubs on the Move Fitness Trolley, and hosting a summer camp cookout at the Lakeview YMCA.

“We’re all part of this monumental year,” Dedes Nowak said. “We just want to come away with a great story and leave a legacy that we made an impact on the community in 2014.”


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