Spring Training Charity Game Raises More Than $126,000 for Charity

Peoria Diamond Club March 5, 2015
Photo: Throwing out the first pitch is 10-year-old Billy McGreal of Peoria.  His non-profit Billy’s Place is a beneficiary of the Peoria Spring Training’s Charity Game between the Mariners and Padres March 4, from which nearly all money went to charity.

Photo: Throwing out the first pitch is 10-year-old Billy McGreal of Peoria. His non-profit Billy’s Place is a beneficiary of the Peoria Spring Training’s Charity Game between the Mariners and Padres March 4, from which nearly all money went to charity.

More than $120,000 total was raised by the Peoria Diamond Club for various Peoria charities at Wednesday’s Spring Training Game, when the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres played each other on the opening day of Cactus League spring training. The game also had record attendance of 6027.

While the two Major League Baseball teams squared off at the Peoria Sports Complex, the Peoria Diamond Club was the big winner, receiving 100 percent of that day’s ticket sales, program sales and parking lot revenue, as well as proceeds from the concession and merchandise sales.

The Peoria Diamond Club is a nonprofit organization whose hundreds of volunteers help operate the Padres’ and Mariners’ spring training games at the Peoria Sports Complex. With the motto of “Where Children Are the Winners,” the club supports Northwest Valley charities and organizations that educate children, enrich their lives and enhance their futures.

The annual Charity Game, the club’s largest fundraiser of the year, is a special partnership of the club, the two baseball teams and the City of Peoria. The 2014 Charity Game attracted 4,868 fans and raised nearly $90,000 for Northwest Valley charities and organizations that benefit children.

The Peoria Diamond Club was established in 1993 to operate spring training in partnership with the Mariners, the Padres and the City of Peoria. In exchange for providing a volunteer workforce to help with parking, ticket sales and other functions during games, the club shares in revenue from those efforts and redistributes the funds through its grant program.

In 2014, more than 600 volunteers donated more than 22,000 hours to club projects and events, and the club awarded $105,641 in grants to 18 organizations. Since its founding, the Peoria Diamond Club has donated more than $1.5 million to hundreds of local organizations benefiting thousands of children.

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