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.
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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