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Kansas City Royals receive MLB award for philanthropic excellence

Kansas City Royals announce 2018 Royals FanFest
Posted at 8:00 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 09:00:28-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Royals are the 2021 recipients of Major League Baseball's award for philanthropic excellence.

For their work to help the community overcome issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to provide easy access to voting, the club was awarded the Allan H. Selig Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was announced Friday.

“Our entire organization is humbled by this award, especially as all 30 MLB clubs do impactful work in our communities,” John Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Royals, said. “I am grateful for the commitment and passion of our associates, and am inspired by their resiliency. There is much more to do. The work continues, with gratitude for the opportunity to support the region we love.”

"Response to Recovery" was the club's effort to minimize the effects of the pandemic.

The "Royals Response Fund" provided more than 500,000 meals and 17 nonprofit grants to the Kansas City community, as well as helped organize volunteers to help with COVID-19 related issues.

Efforts were specifically focused on the Kansas City Royals MLB Urban Youth Academy.

The academy is located in the 18th & Vine District, which is one of the communities most affected by the pandemic in Kansas City.

Baseball became a side-project at the academy. It began offering in-person options for assistance with distance learning for students and providing access to the internet, meals and tutors, while also providing a childcare option for working parents.

MLB also recognized the academy's summer program that helped students at risk of falling behind in reading and math due to instability created by distance learning. On top of that, the academy provided an online STEM curriculum for students.

Students weren't the only ones who benefited from access to the Urban Youth Academy.

The facility was used to provide a polling location for 1,300 voters in the 2020 election, and also provided meals to voters.

More than 4,400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered at the location as well.

"Their efforts provide a model on how organizations can make a meaningful impact in under-served areas that were the most negatively affected by the pandemic. I am especially thankful for their support of the 18th & Vine District, a special place for our sport that houses both the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Royals Urban Youth Academy," MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said about the award.

The Royals were chosen over eight other finalists, whose philanthropies focused on topics ranging from food insecurity to mental health and wellness.