10/03/2007 2:57 PM -
The T-Bones donated $2,448.50 on Wedndesday to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for the development of the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center.
The money was raised throughout the 2007 season at CommunityAmerica Ballpark through Buck O’Neil Night raffles, Redneck Wine and Cheese Festival entry, baseball bingo, and post-game launch-a-ball events.
The Museum is hoping to raise $16 million to renovate and expand the historic Paseo YMCA, the future site of the Research and Education Center. Before groundbreaking begins, the Museum hopes to raise 75-80 percent of its total goal.
“We still have a ways to go,” said Bob Kendrick, Director of Marketing and Promotions for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “There’s a sense of urgency here because nothing gets cheaper.”
The NLBM was recently awarded a $1.3 million tax credit from the Missouri Development Finance Board. Because it is considered a historical preservation project, the museum expects similar contributions and grants.
Kendrick said the initial “Thanks-A-Million Buck” campaign was a huge success and now the Museum is shifting toward its main campaign for the building. They plan on holding other fund-raising events in the coming months as well. He also said they are hoping to receive donations not only from other baseball organizations, but also the players and owners as well.
“Buck was baseball,” Kendrick said. “What better way to pay him back and say how great he was? Selfishly, we all wish Buck were still around but now that he’s gone it’s our duty to continue his legacy and keep the awareness alive.”
The targeted groundbreaking date for the estimated 18-month project is Spring 2008.
For more information about the Buck O’Neil Research and Education Center, visit www.nlbm.com/buck/buck.htm. To learn how to donate to the fund, call the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at (816) 221-1920.