Baseball & soccer teams unite to help kids in Oklahoma

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Cardinals, along with Relevent Sports announced today that they are teaming up with both Chelsea Football Club and Manchester City Football Club to help the children impacted by the devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma earlier this week.  

“We have all been moved by the heartbreaking images and stories coming out of Oklahoma,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals.  “Cardinals Care has established a special fund to help the many children whose lives have been forever changed by tragedy.”

The Cardinals and Relevent Sports have pledged a dollar from every ticket sold to tomorrow’s historic match at Busch Stadium will go towards the Cardinals Care fund to help kids in Oklahoma.  The two storied English Premier League clubs will each match the donation and wear a commemorative black arm band during the match as a tribute to those impacted by the tragedy.

“We are united in our commitment to help.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Oklahoma,” said Chelsea FC Chief Executive Ron Gourlay and Manchester City FC Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, Chief Executive for the Manchester City Football Club in a joint statement. 

“We want to do everything we can to help,” said Charlie Stillitano, CEO of Relevent Sports. “We are proud to join the Cardinals, Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC in this effort to help the children.”

While the recovery needs in Oklahoma are multiple and extensive, Cardinals Care established the Oklahoma Recovery Fund to focus on helping the thousands of children in Oklahoma impacted by the disaster (#care4kidsOK). Cardinals Care will work in the coming months to identify specific youth-oriented investment needs as the Moore, Oklahoma community begins the process of recovering and rebuilding. 

“While the immediate needs are disaster response, our Joplin experience showed us the importance of being there for the community as they begin the process of recovery and rebuilding,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations & Executive Director of Cardinals Care.   “Fans can help with immediate disaster response needs, as well as with the longer recovery process.”

Fans may donate as they enter the soccer match tomorrow night.  St. Louis Fire Department personnel will collect cash donations at the gates as fans enter Busch Stadium for the soccer match tomorrow night. Fans are encouraged to donate on line at cardinals.com/oklahoma. 

Fans can help with the disaster relief efforts by supporting the #STL4OKC donation drive.  Fans can donate batteries, building supplies, small hand tools, along with baby formula and pet food at a collection post set up outside Gate One at the Tums Parking Lot from 4 p.m. until after the soccer match on Thursday.  Fans may also donate cash or use their credit or debit cards to donate to the American Red Cross relief effort at this location.

Two years ago today a tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri.  The Cardinals teamed up with the Kansas City Royals, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball players association to assist the community.  Cardinals Care set up a special fund to help children of Joplin using money raised when the Cardinals hosted the Royals as part of the Teams Unite for Joplin series (June 17-19, 2011).  Cardinals Care donated $200,000 to four Joplin area charities working with children (Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bright Futures, Children’s Haven & Ronald McDonald House) when team officials traveled to Joplin to build five homes as part of the Governor’s Habitat for Humanity Challenge last August. 

About Chelsea Football Club

Chelsea Football Club is one of the most successful teams in England with four top English league championships (three Premier League titles) and seven FA Cups. Last year, the Blues became the first London club to win the Champions League by beating Bayern Munich in their own stadium. The west London club also boasts two UEFA Cup Winners' Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and were last week winners of the Europa League trophy, beating Benfica 2-1 in Amsterdam.  The club was established in 1905 and has played at Stamford Bridge since its formation. For more information, please visit www.chelseafc.com.

About Manchester City Football Club

Informally known as “The Citizens”, Manchester City FC is an English Premier League side, founded in 1880 as St Mark’s West Gorton. The Club won the 2011-2012 Premier League title and has won 25 major trophies. It counts the European Cup Winners’ Cup, three League Championship titles, and five FA Cups amongst its honors. The Club plays its domestic home fixtures at the Etihad Stadium, a spectacular 47,500 seat arena, which the Blues made their home following the successful Commonwealth Games in 2003. For more information, please visit www.mcfc.co.uk.

About Relevent Sports

Relevent Sports brings the excitement and intensity of international soccer to the United States by showcasing the best clubs in the world through premier tournaments and events. Going beyond the game, Relevent provides an innovative approach to building international soccer presence by utilizing brand development, grassroots planning, corporate sponsors, international touring and philanthropic initiatives for the soccer organizations.

About the St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most storied franchises in all of baseball.  Since they joined the National League in 1892, the Cardinals have won more than 9,300 games, 11 World Series Championships and 18 N.L. Pennants, 3 N.L. Eastern Division Titles, 8 N.L. Central Division Titles and 2 N.L. Wild Card Titles.  Over 40 former Cardinals players and managers are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

About Cardinals Care

Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the Cardinals organization to help children in our community – both on and off the baseball field.   Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has invested $19 million in helping children, including providing $11 million in grants to over 800 non-profit youth organizations, and building 20 youth ball fields in neighborhoods in both Missouri and Illinois. In 2013, Cardinals Care celebrates the 10th anniversary of the innovative Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for kids who otherwise might not have the opportunity to play. In addition to providing all the uniforms, gloves, bats, balls and other equipment needed for each team, Redbird Rookies also provides extensive off-field support in the areas of health, education, mentoring and the cultural arts for each of the nearly 4,500 kids who participate in the program each year.