Legends’ donations for 2015 top $1 million

The Lexington Legends has announced donations for 2015 totaling $1,087,832 to non-profit organizations serving Central Kentucky.

More than 100 fundraising events were held at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, helping organizations raise more than $355,000. The Legends’ front office staff, players and coaches participated in 230 appearances in the community and volunteered for 275 hours in the Legends’ 15 Days of Service initiative.

In its 15-year history, the Legends organization has donated close to $14 million to the region.

Some organizations that benefited include:

▪ Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: Overnight camp outs were held following games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

▪ Brave The Blue (Boy Scouts of America Bluegrass Council): The Brave the Blue campaign raised donations by people who rappelled down the 30-story Lexington Financial Center building. The Legends’ Big L has been among the rappelers in all four years of the campaign.

▪ Breast Cancer Research and Awareness: A Breast Cancer Awareness Night was held July 11. An auction of pink jerseys and pink bases used during the Legends’ game that night, along with T-shirt sales, benefited Kentucky Cancer Link, which serves breast cancer patients by reducing or eliminating barriers to screening, diagnosis and treatment; The Markey Cancer Center; and Susan G. Komen. The Legends and LBX Co. held a celebration dinner, with proceeds going to those organizations.

▪ Guns and Hoses Softball Game: The game matched the Lexington Police Department against the Lexington Fire Department in a softball game and home-run derby. The winning team took home a trophy. The loser received a toilet seat.

▪ Hit the Books Reading Program: Geared toward elementary schools, the program is designed to encourage students to read. The Legends gave away 31,000 bookmarks, which could be redeemed by students for two tickets to a game.

▪ Kentucky SAVE: During the 10 “Bark in the Park” nights, fans were invited to bring their dogs to a game. The admission price for dogs was a donation to Kentucky SAVE (Saving Animals, Volunteering, Educating), a non-profit 501c3-certified no-kill animal rescue.

▪ Legends Character Award at William Wells Brown Elementary: Every nine weeks during the school year, 19 students from the school are awarded the Legends Character Award. Winners were publicly recognized and congratulated by the Legends’ Big L.

▪ Military Appreciation Night: The June 13 event included an auction of camouflage jerseys to benefit Military Missions. The Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball game took place at the Whitaker Bank Ballpark on Military Appreciation Night before the Legends’ game.

▪ St. Joseph Hospital Nursing Scholarship Program: At the end of every baseball season, the Legends hold the “Jersey Off Our Backs” silent auction for the home jerseys worn during the season. Proceeds went to program.