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Giving their all on the field and in the community


Fourteen Milwaukee Brewers players are making financial donations in 2009 to Brewers Community Foundation, the club's charitable arm. Thanks to the efforts of these players and several generous corporate sponsors who have joined them, more than $500,000 in grants has been distributed to two dozen organizations in Milwaukee and Wisconsin. The financial support of these players, along with the dedicated fans who support special fundraising events, will help Brewers Community Foundation top $1.5 million in grants and in-kind donations to community groups in 2009.

Ryan Braun #8 OF

Ryan Braun knows baseball is a great classroom for kids and that why he supports the Little Brewers Baseball Club, in partnership with U.S. Cellular and Brewers Community Foundation. Together, they give more 2,000 youngsters from Boy & Girls Clubs throughout Wisconsin - boys and girls ages 6-9 - an opportunity to play baseball. The Little Brewers cap their season with a trip to Miller Park, a tailgate party with a visit from Ryan, and a ballgame. In addition to his support for the youth baseball, Ryan also donates thousands of dollars of Nike merchandise to disadvantaged kids in the Milwaukee area. And, after he was named NL Rookie of the Year in 2007, Ryan received a check for that honor which he in turn donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Dave Bush #31 P

Dave Bush wants to strike out hunger in Milwaukee through the K's for a Cause program. Dave is donating $25 for every strike out by a Brewers pitcher at Miller Park this season. Proceeds will go to the Hunger Task Force, which provides food to pantries throughout the Milwaukee area. Dave has a great partner in the K's effort with the law office of Foley & Lardner, which is also donating for every strike out by a Brewers pitcher in 2009. Together, Dave Bush and Foley & Lardner are working to fill food pantries and support families throughout our community.

Craig Counsell #30 3B

Craig Counsell truly is a home-grown talent. He grew up in the Milwaukee area and attended Brewers' games with his father, John Counsell, who worked in the Community Relations Department for the Milwaukee Brewers. As a young boy, he watched and learned how Major League Baseball players can make a difference in their communities. Craig and his wife Michelle have assisted in delivering Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in Milwaukee's central city. Craig has also provided funding to support the Girls of Summer Softball League, a program aimed at central city teenage girls. This year, the Notre Dame accounting graduation is getting behind a program to help kids be smart about their money. Craig is partnering with National City/part of PNC Services Group to put dollars behind the Money Savvy Generation program which trains area teachers to bring money basics into the classroom and helps students learn about saving, spending, investing and donating.

Yovani Gallardo #49 P

He's only 23 years old but starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo possesses a level of maturity both on and off the field. As a young father, he is keenly aware that kids covet role models and, as a Major League Baseball player, he has an opportunity to be one. Yovani is donating a block of tickets throughout the season to youth groups, with a focus on the growing Latino youth market. He also volunteers his time for a clinic for the Felix Mantilla Little League, a predominantly Latino baseball league named after Milwaukee Braves great Felix Mantilla who still makes his home in the Milwaukee area.

Corey Hart #1 OF

With three young children of his won, Corey knows that families are the foundation in the lives of kids and he wants families to be able to make healthy choices. That's why Corey has been a spokesperson for the Stomp Out Spit Tobacco campaign with the Wisconsin Dental Association. This year, he agreed to be the Honorary Chairperson for the 25th Birthday Party for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Since 1984, more than 3,500 wishes have been granted to children throughout Wisconsin. Corey is making a personal donation to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin to allow the organization to continue to bring hope, strength and joy to kids throughout the state. And, he is hosting a six-year-old Wish Kid, Sam from Saukville, Wisconsin, on a personal tour of the Home Clubhouse at Miller Park. Sam will meet Corey's teammates and the two of them will then be on the field where Sam will fulfill his wish to sing the National Anthem at Miller Park.

Trevor Hoffman #51 RP

Pitcher Trevor Hoffman is a six-time All-Star, recording at least 30 saves in each of his last, 13 full seasons, demonstrating a work ethic that has made him one of the best closers in the game. Trevor also cares deeply about fans in the community where he plays baseball, particularly young fans. Before he even reported to Brewers Spring Training, Trevor contacted the front office to set the wheels in motion for some type of charitable program in Milwaukee. Because he sees education as one of the best paths to success, he created the Trevor Hoffman Scholarship Fund within Brewers Community Foundation to help students who lack financial resources achieve their dream of attending college. Two Wisconsin high school graduates are now achieving their dream of attending college thanks to the Hoffman Scholarship Fund.

Mike Rivera #11 C

Mike Rivera wants kids to realize their dream of attending a Major League Baseball game. And, he knows that the game of baseball has a huge following in Milwaukee's fast-growing Latino community. So he donating a block of game tickets this season, with a focus on Latino youth and their families. Mike has also been a great ambassador for the team with Latino youth, encouraging his teammates to join him in holding a mini-clinic and autograph session for the kids in the Felix Mantilla Little League each season.

Jeff Suppan #37 P

Jeff Suppan is the consummate professional both on and off the field. Jeff and his wife Dana host an annual holiday party for area children, providing them with holiday treats, gifts, gift cards and a specially made backpack for each child with Jeff's autograph on it. They travel from their home in California to Wisconsin to be with the children at the parties and deliver a special message about the importance of school and families. Thanks to Jeff, funds were directed to the Milwaukee County Parks Department to fix several area ball fields, damaged by flooding in the summer of 2008. He also provides financial assistance to two Milwaukee-area youth baseball groups which serve children from disadvantaged backgrounds: Beckum-Stapleton Little League which primarily serves African-American youths and the Felix Mantilla Little League which serves Latino youths. These funds provide uniforms for the teams. This season, Jeff has added a new youth initiative, donating two scholarships for Milwaukee area children whose families face financial barriers to attending Catholic schools or colleges. He has a history of supporting active members of the military and their families through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a New York-based foundation which provides assistance to children and families of U.S. soldiers killed in the line of duty. He donates $100 for each strikeout he records and Brewers Community Foundation matches his gift. Jeff has also teamed up with the USO of Wisconsin to fund a program designed to honor active military personnel and their families at Miller Park. The program, which began in 2008, is fondly referred to as "Soup's Troops." Jeff and his wife Dana donate four premiere seats behind home plate for each home game at Miller Park for use by active military members and their families, Jeff and Dana had the seats specially outfitted with camouflage colors as a tribute to our servicemen and women and they also donate Miller Park certificates to these guests at each game so can enjoy food and beverages or purchase a special souvenir while they are at the ballpark. These seats are affectionately called "Soup's Troops" seats, thanks to the Suppans and their generosity. When Jeff learned that it would cost more than $3,000 for Milwaukee area families to ship holiday gifts to their family members who were serving in Afghanistan during the 2008 Christmas holidays, he picked up the tab for the shipping expenses. Another way that Jeff will be paying homage to our military is through the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight program, where he has agreed to make a donation to allow veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to visit their respective memorials in Washington. A special emphasis is being placed on aging WWII vets so they can see their memorial during their lifetime.

Rickie Weeks #23 2B

Rickie Weeks was a two-time All-American selection when he attended Southern University and received many honors for his outstanding baseball skills. He is also demonstrating his commitment off-the-field through several charitable programs. He joined teammate Bill Hall in escorting central city children on a trip to Kansas City so they could learn and appreciate the history of the Negro Leagues at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Rickie also hosted a charity dinner to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and encouraged his teammates to take part. Through his Rickie's Rookies program, in partnership with George Webb Restaurants, Rickie is donating blocks of game tickets and T-shirts to youth groups throughout Milwaukee and Wisconsin. And this season, he created the Rickie Weeks Scholarship Fund so a Wisconsin high school graduate who faces financial challenges, will realize the dream of attending college.