On Thursday, Feb. 16, the Orioles will hold the seventh annual OriolesREACH Birdland Golf Classic at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, Fla., to benefit the Miracle League of Manasota, an organization dedicated to providing an opportunity for every person to play baseball, regardless of their ability. Registration is now open for golfers and corporate partners.
The event begins with registration at 11 a.m., with a shotgun start set for 1 p.m. Lunch will be served on the course during play. The classic will feature a silent auction and the chance to play a round with current and former Orioles players and coaches. Following the event, the golf club will host a dinner for participating golfers, as well as Orioles players and coaches.
"Since 2011, the Orioles have hosted the Classic in Sarasota to raise funds and awareness for the Miracle League of Manasota - an organization which makes it possible for those challenged by disability to enjoy the thrills and team spirit of our national pastime," said David Rovine, vice president, Orioles-Sarasota.
Several levels of participation are available for corporate partners, including MVP Sponsor packages, which consist of recognition as a presenting sponsor, a foursome with the opportunity to select your Orioles playing partner, four infield box seats to a 2017 Orioles spring training game, and more. Since its inception, the Birdland Golf Classic has raised more than $200,000 for the Miracle League of Manasota.
For the 14,000 school-aged children and countless adults with disabilities in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the Miracle League of Manasota raised funds to build a synthetically-surfaced baseball field at a location that serves participants from both counties. Sarasota County committed $500,000 to building the field, with the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates each contributing $75,000. Located at Longwood Park north of University Parkway in Sarasota, the field opened in March 2012. Since then, more than 500 players have participated in the league's 10 seasons.
"All of us involved in the Miracle League of Manasota are deeply grateful for our longstanding relationship with the Orioles," said Max Levine, a Miracle League board member and Birdland Golf Tournament chairman. "The Birdland Golf Classic is so important in keeping the league thriving for children and adults who normally wouldn't get to engage in a team sport like baseball. The leadership and outreach the Orioles have demonstrated has been felt across our entire community."