F.Y.I. Things Worth Knowing
BLUE ROCKS NOW NATIONALS AFFILIATE
The Wilmington Blue Rocks will become the Washington Nationals High Class A affiliate beginning with the 2021 season. The Blue Rocks have been a Kansas City Royals affiliate for much of their 28-year history, excluding two seasons (2005, 2006) when they were a Boston Red Sox minor league team
The announcement makes Wilmington a survivor of Major League Baseball’s paring down of its Minor Leagues. The total number of affiliate teams has been reduced from 164 to 120. Each of MLB’s 30 teams now has four Minor League affiliates (AAA, AA, High A, Low A). The Nationals breakdown is as follows: AAA—Rochester (NY) Red Wings; AA—Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators; High A—Wilmington Blue Rocks; Low A—Fredericksburg (Va.) Nationals. The new structure should also put the Rocks in a league that will include Minor League teams for the Phillies, Yankees, and Orioles, which will be great for regional rivalries.
“Clark Minker and I can’t wait to welcome the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals to Wilmington,” said Blue Rocks owner Dave Heller. “They are a team of great integrity which prides itself on doing the right things the right way. A championship community deserves a championship team, and from our first communications with Mark Lerner, Mike Rizzo and Mark Scialabba, we knew the Nationals were a first-class organization and a perfect fit for Wilmington.”
URBAN BIKE PROJECT HITS NEW MILESTONE FOR BIKE DISTRIBUTION
Wilmington-based Urban Bike Project placed more than 1,100 donated bikes into the hands of city families in 2020. It was a new milestone for the organization as its previous high for bike distribution was 574 in 2019.
UBP gives bikes new life and keeps them out of landfills by refurbishing donated bikes and either selling them at affordable prices or donating them through one of its annual programs. Of the more than 1,100 bikes distributed, 915 were purchased through the UBP bike shop. The average price for a kid’s bike was $13. Adult bikes ranged from $20-$79, depending on the quality of the bike. All proceeds go directly toward UBP programs, operations and community outreach.
As part of its bike distribution, UBP donated 80 bikes and helmets to kids age 5-7 through its Fifth Annual Holiday Bike Giveaway. Another 150 bikes were given away to Wilmington youth and adults for recreation, fitness, and transportation. Adults who receive free bikes use them to overcome significant transportation challenges, often to reach jobs and appointments that are not serviced by buses.
Since 2006, Urban Bike Project has supported Wilmington communities by providing access to bicycling as a healthy, affordable and practical means of recreation. UBP services include free and affordable used bikes, free and affordable repair services, mechanics education, group rides, youth programs, and summer camps. The organization is always looking for bike donations. For more, visit UrbanBikeProject.com
HIGHMARK AWARDS NEARLY $2 MILLION TO 17 ORGANIZATIONS
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is awarding 17 Delaware organizations with much-needed grants through its BluePrints for the Community program. The program was originally targeted to distribute $1 million, but because of the growing needs exacerbated by the pandemic, Highmark boosted the total awarded to more than $1.9 million.
“We are not at all surprised by the excellent grant proposals we have seen through this grant cycle and we are proud to support 17 grant recipients in the tremendous work they are doing,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware.
Key areas for social determinants of health considered included economic and financial stability, access to education, transportation, health and health care, and neighborhood and environment factors.
Recipients are: Catholic Charities-Diocese of Wilmington, Children and Families First DE, Culture Restoration Project, Delaware Breast Cancer, Delaware Center for Horticulture, Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, First State Community Action Agency, Great Oaks Charter School (Wilm.), Jewish Family Services of Delaware, NCALL Research, Neighborhood House, Sojourners’ Place, Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, Tidal Health, United Way of Delaware, and Westside Family Healthcare.
KEEP DELAWARE BEAUTIFUL TACKLES CIGARETTE LITTER
Keep Delaware Beautiful (KDB) was one of 47 organizations nationwide to receive a merit-based grant from Keep America Beautiful to fight cigarette litter. KDB received more than $20,000 from the national organization and will use it to fight cigarette litter through public messaging and infrastructure placement. Over the past decade, participating communities have consistently cut cigarette butt litter by 50 percent based on local measurements taken in the first four to six months after program implementation.
Research has shown that even self-reported “non-litterers” often don’t consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be “littering.” Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area. These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others.
Delaware restaurants, bars, retailers, and municipalities are welcome to apply for an ash receptacle from Keep Delaware Beautiful to help curb cigarette litter on their property. To apply or for more information on Keep Delaware Beautiful initiatives, visit KeepDelawareBeautiful.com.
HOSPITALITY TRAINING PROGRAM FOR TEENS
The Warehouse, in collaboration with The Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), is providing an opportunity for teens to pursue a career in hospitality. Each quarter, the Teens In Motion program will allow 25 teenagers the opportunity to work in the hospitality industry for a 90-day stint. The program includes an eight-week paid internship available across BPG’s restaurant establishments and their tenant partners, currently including Le Cavalier, Bardea and Stitch House.
Tyler Akin, Chef-Partner of Le Cavalier in the Hotel du Pont, will be the coordinator of the hospitality internship tract of Teens In Motion. Akin conceptualized the program alongside his partners at BPG upon realizing career advancement opportunities in hospitality would be fewer and further between in the wake of the global pandemic.
“While restaurants are facing historic challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel strongly that American dining culture will bounce back—along with the vibrant job market it creates,” said Akin. “With Teens in Motion, we aim to share the tools for Delaware’s next generation of culinary leaders to find success and meaning in their work.”
This workforce development initiative is funded by JPMorgan Chase. To learn more about the program, contact The Warehouse at 232-6610. Teens interested in registering for the program can do so at TheWarehouse.RecDesk.com.
MARSHALL STEAM SPEAKER SERIES
Marshall Steam Museum’s monthly speaker series continues through February with virtual presentations of special items in their collection followed by a discussion with experts. “Behind the Steam: Cretors Popcorn Poppers” is set for Jan. 21 at 7pm and will explore the history of popcorn poppers. “Behind the Steam: Golden Age of Radio” is set for Feb. 18 at 7pm and will take a look at Westinghouse Radio and its role in bringing radio into mainstream. Participation is free for members and $5 for non-members. Visit AuburnHeights.org.