Rebecca McGuire, Brett Bodine, Katie Haas & Kathryn Kelly

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2013) – The Boston Red Sox Foundation’s inaugural Swings For The Sox golf tournament, which took place September 28, 2012 at Gateway Golf & Country Club, raised more than $23,000 for local nonprofit efforts.

“We are very excited that our first local Red Sox Foundation golf tournament not only sold out but raised $23,000 for local nonprofits,” said Katie Haas, director of Florida business operations. “We are committed to this community year-round, and our goal is to harness the passion our fans have for the Red Sox and transform it into a vehicle for positive change here in Southwest Florida. We can’t thank our fans, partners and the community at large enough for supporting us in supporting Lee County.”

Two local nonprofits, the Heights Foundation and the Children’s Home Society each received $10,000 from the tournament proceeds to go toward local programs.

The Heights Foundation’s donation will be used for the nonprofit’s school success program. The Heights Foundation works to build strong, self-sufficient families in the Harlem Heights neighborhood.  As a 501(c)3 grassroots organization, the center’s mission is to promote family and community development, support education, health and wellness, and provide the benefits of enrichment, expressive and cultural arts.

“We appreciate the Red Sox support of our School Success program,” said Kathryn Kelly, president and CEO of the Heights Foundation. “School Success means the whole child, the whole year providing academic tutoring, after school and summer camp programs, scholarship and college access assistance, school supplies and tuition support. Each program is geared to meet the specific needs of children and young adults who seek to further their education.”

Harlem Heights was originally settled as a rural agricultural community. Approximately 1,200 children live in a mixture of single-family homes and multi-family apartments. Demographically, the population is approximately 55 percent Hispanic, 36 percent African-American, and 9 percent Caucasian. The poverty rate of children in Harlem Heights is more than twice the county average, with family income 40 percent below the county average. Families are not able to easily access family support services located in downtown Fort Myers and benefit greatly from programs located within the neighborhood.

The Children’s Home Society received $10,000 for the Bridges program. The Bridges program helps struggling and homeless families in Lee County. The program works to help these families find affordable housing and assists them in finding stability while connecting them with other local services that help overcome obstacles from unemployment to addictions. The program works closely with the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which is in partnership with the Lee County School District.

According to Haas, in addition to golf, participants enjoyed lunch courtesy of Rib City on the Green Monster at JetBlue Park at Fenway South, the Red Sox’s new 106-acre Spring Training and Player Development Complex located at 11500 Daniels Parkway. The afternoon also included participant batting practice swings from home plate, self-guided tours, a silent auction, raffle prizes and appearances by Red Sox personnel.

Manhattan Construction served as the event’s title sponsor. Additional sponsors included Gateway Golf & Country Club, Rib City, Suncoast Beverage Sales, WCI Communities and Lee Memorial Health System.

The Red Sox Foundation is a 501(c)3 and the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox. The foundation’s primary focus locally is in serving the health, education, recreation and social service needs of children and families across Southwest Florida. The Red Sox Foundation is one of the most successful in all of Major League Baseball.

For more information, call (239) 226-4783 or e-mail