SBJ/July 14-20, 2014/In Depth

Event’s charitable donations set record by topping $8 million

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This year’s MLB All-Star Game in Minnesota will generate more than $8 million in charitable donations, a record for the event.

All-Star Game-related giving has hovered in the $4 million to $6 million range in recent years. The 2014 host club Minnesota Twins and owner Jim Pohlad were not specifically aiming to set a new high-water mark for this year’s event, said Twins President Dave St. Peter, but in-kind donations and matching donations from MLB Charities, the Twins and Twins Community Fund, as well as the separate Pohlad Family Foundation helped raise the total to the unprecedented level.

Stand Up to Cancer is among the organizations that will benefit from the donations.
Photo by: Getty Images
“The magnitude of giving was really driven by Jim Pohlad himself,” St. Peter said. “We were able to find ways to match dollars in a number of instances and push the total higher. The Pohlad family, and all of us really, see this game as a tremendous opportunity to leave a legacy and give back.”

Of the $8 million, more than 60 percent of the sum will be in the form of capital projects around the Twin Cities. Beneficiaries there include the Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, several youth baseball fields, and a local chapter of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, for years a prominent MLB partner.

Other organizations receiving All-Star Game-related donations include existing national MLB charitable partners such as Stand Up to Cancer and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the local chapter of the Ronald McDonald House, the CommonBond affordable housing and community development group, and a mobile eye clinic named for late Twins star and hall of famer Kirby Puckett.

The charitable outreach also included a fan-driven component in which the public was allowed to vote for one of seven Upper Midwest nonprofit organizations to receive a $500,000 grant. The winner will be announced during All-Star Week.

“The entire Twins organization was focused on reaching as many organizations as they could, but this was an additional and powerful way to get the fans involved and give them the ability to direct some of these funds,” said Marla Miller, MLB senior vice president of special events.

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