1,800 fifth graders attended a ballgame at Chase Field today as part of Maricopa County District 5 Supervisor Steve Gallardo’s third annual D-Backs Jam. Participants included students from Cartwright and Phoenix Elementary School Districts, Friendly House Academia Del Pueblo Elementary School, and children residing at the Chicanos Por La Causa - De Colores shelter. Each student completed community service hours and wrote an essay about the experience to qualify for attendance at the game.
The students were greeted by the Phoenix Suns Gorilla at Talking Stick Resort Arena before parading east on Jefferson to Chase Field for a pre-game rally where Gallardo thanked the students for their community service and essays. Diamondbacks mascot Baxter welcomed the students and escorted them on to Chase Field.
“We are proud of these students for achieving their goals. This important program teaches our children the value of community service,” said Gallardo. “Today’s event is extra special for those students who’ve spent a lifetime outside the stadium and now have the opportunity to cheer for their hometown team from the stands.”
The students watched the Diamondbacks play the New York Mets, and were treated to ballpark food including hot dogs and chips.
The program left an impression on the students, as captured in an essay from a Friendly House Academia Del Pueblo Elementary School student. “People who volunteer have a big impact on the community. They learn to be leaders, to work in a team and to be responsible.”
The stadium is located in District 5, which includes Avondale, Buckeye, Gila Bend, the Gila River Indian Community, Glendale, Goodyear, Guadalupe, Tolleson, and parts of Phoenix, including the downtown area and Maryvale.
If you are unable to see the YouTube video embedded above, you can watch the video on the www.maricopa.gov website.