By Denise Gary
Photographs © Robert Gary, Denise Gary, and Steven Gary

Kids Need to Read, along with other 2011 grant recipients, was recently treated to a special reception and on-field recognition at Chase Field by Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. Our organization earned a $5,000 grant from the foundation at the end of 2011 and is using the funds to support Reading Revolution, a program aimed at increasing literacy rates and decreasing dropout rates among Phoenix area middle school students. Kids Need to Read has partnered with Arizona State University and ASU Preparatory Academy to produce this ongoing program, and is dependent upon the support of generous funding partners such as Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation.

Chase Field is an astonishing stadium, with a retractable roof and sideline swimming pool. This was my first visit, and there was a lot to see and experience. Once there, I realized I had forgotten the camera, but then that’s what cell phones are for, right? It wasn’t that long ago we did not have such an option, so hooray for cell phones as emergency backup cameras!

Upon arrival, we were ushered upstairs to the reception in a box suite.

The suite’s glass walls were opened up so honorees could watch the game in open air.

The view over Chase Field was spectacular!

Just before the game was to get started, all grant recipients were taken onto the field. I am in the middle of the picture below, turning around to search for my family.

I was so excited to represent Kids Need to Read on the field!

This was my view from the sideline. We were not allowed to touch the grass. I had experienced this very same thing at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field over a decade ago and thought it was unique to their stadium. Perhaps this is a common rule at most ball fields.

I received my moment to wave on the jumbotron. According to the Diamondbacks’ website, this is the “newest, widest and most magnificent video board in Major League Baseball.” I believe it! Soon afterward, the roof was retracted and all the large signs on either side of the jumbotron were opened up to let in the breeze and the view of the evening sky. It was very nice!

Not only is Kids Need to Read grateful to Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation for their $5,000 grant award but we thoroughly enjoyed the additional pleasure of this special celebration at Chase Field. Kids Need to Read and Arizona State University sincerely thank Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation for their continuing generosity on behalf of the children impacted by Reading Revolution now and into the future.

More about Reading Revolution

Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Awards KNTR $5,000 Grant

Photo Gallery: Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Grant Recipient Recognition

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