KC still benefits from hosting All-Star game

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The All-Star game kicks off in New York on Tuesday evening, but you might remember it was only a year ago that Kansas City was the All-Star’s center stage. And Kansas City is still benefiting from the All-Star game being here.

Major League Baseball and the Royals donated $3.5 million overall to various charities throughout the metro. That included things like improvements to three inner city baseball fields, housing for Joplin tornado victims and a new annex at the Veterans Hospital.

Variety Children’s Charity got about $500,000 to help build two baseball fields that are fully accessible, to ensure kids with disabilities can get in the game. Workers will break ground on that next week.

“It’s cool because they’ll have a buddy system of able-bodied kids,” says Executive Director Deborah Wiebrecht, “and the field will be all soft foam so wheelchairs, walkers, kids with mobility issues or attention span issues will be able to play the game and learn the love of baseball and gain new friendships with their buddies.”

$1.5 million of the Royals and MLB’s charitable giving went to the KC area Boys and Girls Clubs for various projects, including a major renovation of the Independence club.

“It is truly a night and day transition,” says Tyrone Moore, Independence Club Director, “we had upgrades seriously needing to be met, especially with us needing licensing from the state, so it was vital we did something.”

The old building was basically gutted, creating separate classroom spaces for older and younger kids. And now the club begins new upgrades to the gym and building a space for a new teen program. The charities say it all shows the All-Star Game is more than a one-day event, it leaves a lasting impression on the entire community.

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