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50 Community Celebrations and Acts of Kindness: Week of March 5

March 5, 2018 - Florida State League (FSL) - Bradenton Marauders News Release

The 2018 Spring Training marks an historic milestone for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the City of Bradenton as the Club celebrates its 50th season in Bradenton and Manatee, County. To commemorate 50 seasons in Bradenton, the Club has launched their "50 Community Celebrations and Acts of Kindness."

The "50 Community Celebrations and Acts of Kindness" campaign will include Pirates players, coaches and front office staff taking part in 50 different community-driven events and acts of kindness during their time in Bradenton this spring.

Since 1969, the Pirates have called Bradenton the team's southern home and over that time have continued to enhance its commitment to supporting the local community. The Pirates maintain a year-round presence in the Bradenton community and, while there, the Major League players and staff are encouraged to take part in community events during the spring season, with the minor league players and staff continuing the support throughout the Bradenton Marauders' (High-A) and the Gulf Coast Pirates' (Rookie) seasons.

The events slated for this week of the "50 Community Celebrations and Acts of Kindness" are below.

1. Monday, March 5 (9:30 - 10 a.m.): Deputy Friendly's Book Club Book Donation and Delivery

- Deputy Friendly's Book Club is a collaboration between the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County and the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, which provides a unique literacy experience for children in Manatee County. Each month Sheriff's uniformed officers visit child care providers within their jurisdiction and spend 30 minutes reading and talking to children about safety. The result of this program is an increased love of reading and a strong foundation for positive relationships between the youngest citizens and local law enforcement. This visit will be at the Palma Sola Early Learning Center and Captain Pat Cassella will be the guest reader. The Pirates and Pirates Charities are donating books to each of the children as well as to the school and the Pirate Parrot will make the delivery.

- Address: Palma Sola Early Learning Academy, 7315 1st Avenue W, Bradenton, FL 34209

2. Wednesday, March 7 (10:15 - 11 a.m.): Braden River Library Visit

- The Pirates, City of Bradenton, Manatee County and the Manatee County Public Library System have partnered on a traveling exhibit detailing Pirates Baseball in Bradenton over the last 50 years. The Pirate Parrot will visit the Braden River Library, where the exhibit is currently displayed, and will participate in their Preschool story time. He will also bring cookies for the children and their families, compliments of Pirates Charities.

- Address: Braden River Branch Library, 4915 53rd Avenue E, Bradenton, FL 34203

3. Thursday, March 8 (11 a.m. Gates Open-- 1:05 p.m. Game Time): Military Appreciation Day

- The Pittsburgh Pirates and Pirates Charities have partnered with local organizations to identify and host both active-duty military members and veterans, along with their guests, to enjoy a day of appreciation for their service at LECOM Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates will donate 125 game tickets and guests will enjoy a pregame BBQ picnic, provided by Pirates Charities. Upon check-in, all guests will receive the Pirates new military cap and our service men and women will receive a Pirates military tee, compliments of Pirates Charities.

Schedule of Events:

o "VIP Early Access"

o In-Game Community Tables: ESGR, MacDill Recruitment and M.O.T.S.

o Gate Collection: Fans coming to the game are encouraged to bring donations for M.O.T.S.

o Items in need are:

- Peanut Butter

- Toothbrushes

- Triple Edge Razors

- Single serve drink mix packets

o Military Appreciation Day VIP BBQ

o Pregame Participation: ESGR Group Salute, Honorary Pitch, Military Members Take the Field, Color Guard

- Organizations participating in appreciation events:

o 927th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill Air Force Base - The 927th Air Refueling Wing is comprised of three groups and 10 squadrons providing rapid global mobility through air refueling and airlift operations. In addition to providing air-to-air refueling capability, the 927th has an aeromedical evacuation squadron whose primary mission is to bring our wounded and injured service members home. This squadron is set to deploy later this year, joining thousands of other Air Force Reservists supporting contingency operations around the world. In addition to the 927th Air Refueling Wing, MacDill Air Force Base is home to 39 other organizations including United States Central Command and United States Special Operations Command. The presence of these two unified commands and other mission teammates creates a unique multi-service community at MacDill, with all branches of service represented.

o Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) - Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. ESGR has served our country for more than 40 years, fostering a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States.

o Manasota Operation Troop Support (M.O.T.S.) - A non-profit organization serving military troops deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait with ties to Manatee and Sarasota County and their families. Each month MOTS sends between 35 and 50 care packages to service men and women. Some of the items are donated by local businesses, schools and churches, but some items are purchased by M.O.T.S. In addition, M.O.T.S. supports the troops and families back home by helping them with cash or gift cards depending upon their needs.

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