Orioles showcase commitment to Sarasota, arts at charity event

Following a long day of baseball complete with a 16-8 Orioles win over the Red Sox, players, coaches and members of the Orioles front office gathered for a night of entertainment on the field at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday.

Top songwriters from Nashville performed a roundtable-style concert for those in the audience, which included manager Buck Showalter, first baseman Chris Davis and closer Zach Britton.

Nasvhille-at-ballpark-performing-sidebar.jpgBroadcaster Jim Hunter served as the emcee at the event and noted "how well the concept of the event was received by the Sarasota community." About 200 attendees invited to the event were treated to performances by Songwriter Hall of Fame member and Grammy Award winner Desmond Child, multi-platinum writer Bob DiPiero, country radio hit songwriter Justin Wilson and emerging Nashville newcomer Margaret Valentine.

Proceeds of the event benefited two charities: the Music Health Alliance and the Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs. The Music Health Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides healthcare to those in the music industry who cannot afford it. Currently, 76 percent of the music industry is self-employed or part of a small business that may not offer medical benefits.

As part of the club's year-round commitment to Sarasota, the event also benefited the Sarasota Family YMCA's Youth Programs. The programs serve more than 50,000 people each year, and are designed to encourage sportsmanship, self-improvement and team building while striving to create better futures for underserved children.

"The other thing, I think the event the other night shows, is that they do a really good job as an organization, I think John Angelos has a lot to do with it," Hunter said. "They look above and beyond how to mesh the community. ... I think it is beneficial down the road for what they can do.

Nashville's-Music-Row-shot.jpg"I think John has really hit on something here with reaching out into the arts and the music world."

This event is just one example of the Orioles' year-round investment in Sarasota and of the club's involvement in the arts. The team also hosts an annual "Arts in the Ballpark" series that offers free and low-cost family-friendly entertainment at Ed Smith Stadium.

The city of Sarasota has benefited greatly from the Orioles making the city their home, as the club generates more than $81 million in economic impact annually to the greater Sarasota area. However, Hunter noted that the relationship between the city and club is mutually beneficial.

"It's really a year-round commitment where the Orioles have not only a permanent home but a place that is above and beyond what they need to get ready for a season and stay ready for what lays ahead in the season," Hunter said.

Check out the photo album below for more looks at the event!

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