BRADENTON -- Baseball fans heading to Thursday night's Grapefruit League game at McKechnie Field will be helping a good cause as well as enjoying a ballgame under the lights.
The Pittsburgh Pirates will give the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County $3 for every ticket sold for the game against the Baltimore Orioles.
"The Pirates' continued support of our mission to serve more children of Manatee County is a testament to the organization's commitment to the youth of our community, and we're truly grateful to have them as a partner," said Marc Dosogne, chief executive officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County.
Not only is Thursday the official start of spring, but it's the Pirates' only scheduled night game at McKechnie Field.
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office at McKechnie Field, 1611 Ninth St. W., or online at www.pirates.com.
Baseball fans can also visit the Boys & Girls Clubs table to enter a free raffle for a chance to win an iPad Air.
Gates open at 5 p.m., and the first pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County serve more than 6,000 youths at seven locations -- Daughtrey Elementary School, Orange Ridge-Bullock Elementary School, Harllee Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Southeast High School and the DeSoto and Palmetto Clubs.
For more details, call 941-761-2582 or visit www.bgcmanatee.org.
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter:@vinmannix