Over the past eighteen months, I have been blessed to be a part of an organization called L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct). This group provides travel team level play to inner-city youth who would otherwise be unable to compete at an advanced level in baseball. Scholarship and community service are emphasized, with 100% of the participants during L.E.A.D.’s two years being accepted to college and over 2,000 hours of community service being performed. Since being formed in 2008, 83% of the participants in the program have gone on to earn college scholarships to play baseball while pursuing higher education.
If you’re interested in learning more, you can see the piece I wrote for Comcast Sports Southeast on the decline of African Americans in Major League Baseball and what L.E.A.D. is doing to provide opportunities for young men right here in Atlanta: http://www.csssports.com/pages/misssportsbiz.
Every year, L.E.A.D. has a weekend full of events in order to raise funds for the upcoming season. The biggest draw is the Celebrity Clinic, which is held at Turner Field. It’s for ages 8-13 and offers your child the opportunity to work with current MLB players Jason Heyward (Braves), Tim Hudson (Braves), Dexter Fowler (Rockies) and Bobby Scales (Cubs). There are also a number of minor league players who help put on the clinic. It’s an amazing experience to work with the pros and spend a day on the field at Turner Field. I went last year and walked around in awe the entire time – it’s an incredible experience.
If you have a child 8-13 and are interested in a spot in the clinic, you can find out more here: https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/lead/event.jsp?event=41.
The other big event of the weekend is Dinner with Champions at the 755 Club at Turner Field. The Master of Ceremonies this year will be 680 The Fan’s Chuck Dowdle and the speaker will be former MLB and NFL player Brian Jordan. There will be a silent auction with dozens of autographed items from current MLB players, as well as some really unique experiences. For example, current Clemson QB Kyle Parker has a QB lesson and a hitting lesson in the silent auction.
If you’re interested in Dinner with Champions, you can find out more here: https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/lead/event.jsp?event=118.
This is a truly remarkable group. I hope some of you are able to sign up your kids for the clinic or join me at the dinner!
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