The Daytona Tortugas are coming “Back to the Jack” for 2020 and doing it in grand style with a 12-week campaign of charitable donations.
The donations are designed as a thank you to the community that has stood by them as they fought to keep professional baseball at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach.
The Tortugas Care Charity Foundation will make a financial contribution to a community organization each week leading up to April 9, the 2020 season's Opening Day. Recipients will be selected through an open application process. The 12 Weeks of Thanks campaign is in addition to what the Foundation gives to youth sports and sea turtle conservation.
Ryan Keur, president of the Daytona Tortugas, said, “We are beyond ready for the 2020 season and overcome with emotions with the response of our community over the past three months. Our goal when launching The Tortugas Care Foundation was to enrich the lives of youth in our community and help sea turtle conservation efforts. This campaign that was developed by Josh (McCann) and our community relations is an amazing initiative to help give back to our community and thank them for their support as we come up on Opening Day!”
So far the Foundation has given $500 each to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Volusia/Flagler Counties, Volusia Flagler Family YMCA (for swim lesson scholarships and water safety education) and Boy Scouts of America.
The campaign comes after news Daytona is one of 42 communities slated to lose affiliated professional baseball under a plan by Major League Baseball that would take effect in 2021.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community to ‘Save our Tortugas’” said Tortugas co-owner Bob Fregolle in a news release. “From the support we’ve gotten from local government, the media and the fans, it’s meant a lot to us as we do everything we can to save baseball here in Daytona. This seemed like a wonderful way to say ‘Thank You’ and to generate even more momentum as we head into what promises to be an amazing season at The Jack.”
Joe Sullivan, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs, stated in the release. “The Tortugas organization is a great partner for the Boys & Girls Club and the Daytona Beach community. They have made it possible for our kids and families to attend games and provided financial support for our clubs. Our Daytona Tortugas are involved champions of our organization and area.”
The Tortugas will continue to fight to keep a minor league team in Daytona Beach, said Mr. McCann. “The Tortugas stand with this community, and with the community's continued support we plan to remain an integral part of it for years to come. The City of Daytona Beach's recent commitment to invest about $4 million in improvements to Jackie Robinson Ballpark goes a long way toward ensuring the team's future.
“Thank you to the community for all its support! We look forward to seeing everyone at Jackie Robinson Ballpark soon for a great season of professional baseball and affordable, family-friendly entertainment!”
The Tortugas begin the 2020 season against the Florida Fire Frogs. Also, Jackie Robinson Ballpark and the Tortugas will host the Florida State League All-Star Game Tuesday, June 23.
Additional recipients for the 12 Weeks of Thanks are still being determined and agencies are welcome to apply. For consideration, email Mr. McCann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Tortugas, visit daytonatortugas.com.