Top Harlem RBI donors to get Stadium dream

The non-profit Harlem RBI and the Yankees have invited 25 of Harlem RBI’s most generous donors to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at 8 a.m. Thursday to play a game at Yankee Stadium. Through this unique fundraiser and with commissioner Rob Manfred on hand to support, Harlem RBI hopes to raise $500,000 to help build a new “Field of Dreams” in the South Bronx, similar to the organization’s field in East Harlem.

Harlem RBI is a 24-year old non-profit serving the communities of East Harlem and the South Bronx with comprehensive sports and academic enrichment programming, now serving more than 1,700 boys and girls each year. The organization uses baseball and softball as a hook to recruit, engage and retain youth and achieve positive outcomes like high school and college graduation.

Richard Berlin, executive director of Harlem RBI, said, “We’re incredibly thankful to the New York Yankees, specifically Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal and Harlem RBI board member Mark Teixeira, for presenting this rare opportunity to bring together some of Harlem RBI’s most loyal supporters to the world famous Yankee Stadium. While it’s a tremendous treat for us to be on the field, we’re even more excited to be a step closer to building our own Field of Dreams in the South Bronx through the funds raised at this game. Our boys and girls deserve a beautiful ball field to play, learn and grow on and we can’t wait to make that dream a reality for them.”

“We are thrilled to be able to partner with Harlem RBI for such an important initiative,” Swindal said. “This is a special day for the Yankees and our community and we look forward to celebrating the many achievements that will be reached on this Field of Dreams in the Bronx for years to come.”

“I am so happy to share the field at Yankee Stadium today with these amazing supporters who are playing to build a field for Harlem RBI’s South Bronx site,” Teixeira said. “This will mean so much to our kids. As a Harlem RBI board member, I want to thank each and every one of the players for their generosity and I wish them luck on hitting one out of the park!”

Players will play alongside several Yankees alumni including Homer Bush, Bucky Dent, Cecil Fielder, Jim Leyritz, Mickey Rivers and Roy White. Stadium public address announcer Paul Olden will call the game live from the field.

Following the game, a short brunch reception will take place with opening remarks from Swindal and Manfred.

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