Twins pitch in All-Star Game donations to backstop local charities

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Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, scheduled to be played July 15 at Target Field, will be berry, berry good for Minnesota charities.

The Twins Website trumpeted the news that the hometown team and Major League Baseball are set to pitch in $8 million toward local projects and national charitable initiatives. It's part of the 2014 All-Star community legacy effort.

FOX 9's story notes that the donations represent the most extensive community legacy effort in All-Star Game history. It's tops the $5 million in community projects in New York last year and the $4 million in Kansas City the year before. The station quoted a Twins spokesperson who said the goal is to make each All-Star game have a lasting effect on its host communities.

The local donations will be made through MLB Charities, the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation. The Star Tribune adds gate proceeds from the game’s Home Run Derby will add to the contributions.

The money will support 13 charities across the Upper Midwest. The money will be donated for programs for homeless veterans and cancer survivors and to build a nature preserve. It will also fund updates to the local Boys and Girls Clubs and renovate 48 rooms at the Ronald McDonald House.

“We knew we had to do this work, but because of other needs, it was not in the cards for another three to five years,” John Stanoch, Ronald McDonald House CEO told the newspaper. "This means the world,” he said of the Twins’ donation. “And it’s all as a result of the All-Star Game being in the community.”

In addition, the money will support programs that reflect the team's history and mission. It will pay for renovations at four youth baseball fields in the Twin Cities and will build an official Miracle League field in Hibbing for youth with disabilities, and will fund the Kirby Puckett Mobile Eye Clinic to support preventative eye care to thousands of uninsured or underinsured children and adults in Minnesota.

The first All-Star Fans Choose grant initiative will also award $500,000 to a nonprofit organization in the Upper Midwest to support a capital project. Nonprofit groups in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin are invited to apply at through May 23. Five finalists will be selected, then the fans will pick the winner, which will be announced during All-Star week.

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