More than a game: Cleveland’s professional sports teams give back

the 2016 Cleveland Indians team photo

Greater Clevelanders’ dedication to their professional sports teams is legendary, but what many don’t realize is that our teams have long reciprocated that commitment off the field, ice and court, giving back to the community that cheers for them on game day.

Through the Cavaliers Youth Fund of the Cleveland Foundation, the Cleveland Cavaliers support programs for children, families and young adults designed to positively impact the Northeast Ohio community in areas of education, health, recreation, employment, entrepreneurship and life skills. Since its inception, the Cavaliers Youth Fund has distributed millions of dollars in grants to a number of nonprofit organizations in the community, Flashes of Hope and the United Way of Greater Cleveland among them.

Established in 2012, the Cleveland Monsters & Gladiators Community Fund of the Cleveland Foundation provides support and resources for programs in Northeast Ohio dealing with education, youth hockey, health and wellness, and basic needs. The fund has supported organizations such as Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center, March of Dimes, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the youth hockey program at the City of Cleveland’s Halloran Park.

Just before winning their way to the World Series, the 2016 American League Champion Cleveland Indians announced the creation of The Larry Doby Youth Fund at the Cleveland Foundation. The entire clubhouse – every player on the roster, the coaching staff, all members of the Tribe’s support staff and Owner Paul Dolan and Minority Owner John Sherman – rallied together to donate $1 million to the fund. The Larry Doby Youth Fund will work with youth-focused community organizations to provide assistance and resources to help curb youth violence.

Of course we hope for a championship title at the end of each season, but at the Cleveland Foundation we’re thrilled to help our city’s professional teams be philanthropic champions for Greater Cleveland year-round.