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Charities at the major leagues

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Houston’s major league teams support various charities that are now in gear to establish programs for the health and education of city youth.

At the beginning of March, the Houston Rockets attended the 15th Annual Tux & Tennis Charity Gala at the Toyota Center to support the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.

This organization, with the Rockets’ support, provides assistance to youth in need.

“We are going to focus on field trips and activities that are fun and engaging so that kids are actually learning,” said Yara Amer, director of Development of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.

“What will be happening at this particular club is a summer academy called ‘The Rockets Academy’,” Amer said.

The gala charity event was just one of several occasions the Rockets team provided support to charities.

The Houston Dynamo have community programs such as “Soccer for Success” and “Kicks for Kids” where kids have access to free after school soccer programs.

“Kicks for Kids” is a Dynamo charity that donates game tickets to local organizations and charities so kids can enjoy a major league soccer game.

They also focus programs with childhood obesity prevention and scholarships for college or continuing education.

Houston Dynamo player Danny Cruz is the 2011 nominee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man of the Year campaign after helping raise money for Brendon, a child who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004. Danny Cruz said that Brendon’s passion for soccer is what led to their meeting.

“I am fortunate that my career affords me the opportunity to visit kids in hospitals and see their big smile as I enter the room,” Cruz said.

On March 9, Texans player Matt Schaub launched his foundation called GR8 HOPE. This foundation provides resources at the Texas Children’s Hospital for Children to those need specialized medical assistance.

“These kids, they’re probably the most inspirational; they are the first ones to have a smile on their face and enjoy life. They really grab your heart, and just to go and visit with them and put a smile on their face and uplift their day. It’s the best thing in the world,” Schaub said.

The first event for the GR8 Hope Foundation will be on May 1  and all funds will go toward the construction of a new family room at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Cypress area.

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