Philanthropy beat: Twins fans can vote on which charity benefits from MLB All-Star Game

When Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game comes to Target Field in July, it will bring more than the nation’s top ball players. It’s also pitching some serious cash in the direction of Minnesota-area charities.

That includes a first-ever chance for area nonprofits to nominate themselves for a $500,000 grant — as well as an opportunity for baseball fans to vote for the winner.

“This is something new to the All-Star Game,” said Bryan Donaldson, executive director of the Twins Community Fund. “It’s part of a larger package of Upper Midwest giving that comes with hosting the game.”

Typically when the All-Star Game comes to a city, it uses proceeds from its Home Run Derby Show to fund several nonprofit projects, said Donaldson. In Kansas City, for example, it gave grants to a low-income day care, a housing project and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, he said.

Total donations generally amount to $1.5 million to $2 million, Donaldson said. But in Minnesota, there will be even more philanthropy because the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation are sweetening the pot.

On Friday, nonprofits receiving the major grants will be announced, Donaldson said. But the “All-Star Fans Choose” is just getting off the ground.

Applications for the $500,000 grant are being accepted through May 23 at AllStarGame.com/FansChoose. The applications should be for capital improvements, anything from bricks and mortar to new computers for clients, he said.

The nonprofit can be from any corner of “Twins Territory,” including North and South Dakota, Iowa and western Wisconsin, said Donaldson. A team of judges will choose about six finalists, and fans can vote online for the winner June 10 to July 10.

The winning nonprofit will be announced July 15, he said.

“The All-Star Fans Choose grant initiative is one of the most unique community efforts that Major League Baseball has ever put in place for the Midsummer Classic,” said Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

 

Jean Hopfensperger • 612 673-4511

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