Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Umps Care Charities On-Line Auction

The 3rd Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction is now underway through March 20. Items for bid include umpire equipment, experiences, tickets, MLB merchandise and much more!

The MLB UMPS CARE Charities is a wonderful charity that provides "financial, in-kind and emotional support for America’s youth and families in need." UMPS CARE sponsors youth-based programs in which professional baseball umpires enrich the lives of at-risk youth and children coping with serious illness by providing memorable baseball experiences, supporting pediatric medical care, and raising awareness for foster care children waiting to be adopted. As they say, “Helping People is an Easy Call”.

UMPS CARE raises money through an annual on-line auction, corporate sponsorship, golf tournaments, and various other events. These funds are used for several specific programs:

MLB umpires visit ill children in hospitals through the Blue for Kids program. The umpires bring a Build-A-Bear Workshop for the children and often a local team mascot tags along! This year Blue for Kids plans to visit 12 children hospitals across the country.

The Blue Crew Tickets program gives  children awaiting adoption and kids in youth mentoring programs the opportunity to attend a Major League baseball game, meet an MLB umpire, walk out onto the field, and receive a photo and souvenirs.

UMPS CARE Charities and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption have partnered to offer and administer All-Star Scholarship opportunities for children adopted from foster care. This year the All Star Scholarship totals $10,000.  

The Big League Umpiring Experience (BLUE) are small groups of kids hosted by MLB umpires at Big League ballparks. Tour activities vary based on the stadium, events going on that day, and preferences of the host umpires. In general, kids have supervised access to the umpire's locker room, a team dugout, and an area of the baseball field.  One past activity was the "BEST BALL" CONTEST: kids apply mud to baseballs to remove the slippery gloss. The winning ball is used for the first pitch of the baseball game! How cool is that?

Have a heart! Visit the UMPS CARE Charities and donate today!

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