** Information courtesy of the Minnesota Twins.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, MN – The Twins Community Fund announced today the creation of the Junior Twins grant program. In 2016, $125,000 in total grants will be made available to youth baseball and softball organizations to help further increase their participation numbers, and strengthen their leagues. The $5,000, three-year grants will be used by grantees to promote and incent participation in their leagues, and provide necessary resources to make their programs successful and attractive to youth.

In addition to the cash donations, the Twins Community Fund will also provide selected leagues resources such as training for coaches and officials, youth clinics, marketing support, Twins tickets and other incentives.

The Twins Community Fund has also relaunched their Play Ball! Minnesota website for 2016.  In coordination with MLB’s Play Ball initiative, www.playballmn.com will be the first stop for youth to find leagues in their area, as well as interactive coaching resources, youth leagues news and more.

A collaboration between the Twins Community Fund, and youth league officials from around the state, Play Ball! Minnesota has worked for 10 years to increase participation in the sport, and improve the overall competiveness of youth baseball and softball in Minnesota. Through programs like the Twins Youth Clinics, regional and statewide coaches’ training, the High School All Star Series, and Mr. Baseball and Miss Softball awards, Play Ball! Minnesota impacts thousands of kids each year.

“The new Junior Twins program will provide baseball and softball leagues throughout Twins Territory needed funds to grow and improve their programs,” said Twins Community Fund board member and former Twins third baseman Corey Koskie. “As a former player and youth coach, I know a program like this, combined with our existing programs like R.B.I. and Fields for Kids, will continue to strengthen and grow the game for years to come.”

This will be the 25th year of giving for the Twins Community Fund. Established as a nonprofit organization in 1991, the mission of the Fund is to enrich local and regional communities by providing resources for the healthy development of children and families through an association with baseball, softball and the Minnesota Twins. The Fund has donated more than $14.3 million in its 25 years of existence.

The Twins Community Fund is governed by an elected board of directors representative of the Upper Midwest. Target, Treasure Island Resort & Casino, U.S. Bank and Delta Air Lines are Cornerstone Partners; contributing annually to the Twins Community Fund. For more information or to make a contribution, visit www.twinscommunityfund.org.

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