Updated: 07/15/2014 10:57 PM
Created: 07/15/2014 9:36 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
The Boys and Girls Club of the Northland is a big winner after Monday's Home Run Derby at Target Field. The MLB All-Star event is donating $50,000 to the club so they can renovate a space for teens.
Yoenis Cespedes blasted dozens of home runs Monday night to win the derby for the second year in a row. Two lucky kids from the Boys and Girls Club of the Northland got to watch the display from the field.
“It was a dream come true for both of them. They really enjoyed it. They got to go to a press conference. They got to hang out and talk to these guys face to face. They were on the field talking to not jus their participant, but all of the other major league players,” Todd Johnson said.
Johnson is the executive director for the Boys and Girls Club of the Northland. He said the kids were paired with competitors along with a few from clubs in the Twin Cities.
Luckily, one from Duluth was paired with the champion, and that means the club will get $50,000 to fix up the recreation and study space at the Duluth facility.
“We're going to have a coffee shop area. We're going to have areas for them with comfortable seating that they can do homework, get tutoring, those types of things. We'll have an area for drama and theater,” Johnson said.
Club members like 17-year-old Jordan McMillian said the renovation will help draw more teens to the Boys and Girls Club.
“Right now we get like 20 teens a week, and I would like to see more kids engaged in this,” McMillian said.
He said the club and the leadership program there have made a big difference in his life.
“It's like a second home to me. It's a place I can come and have fun,” McMillian said. “It made me become more of a leader like to take my own footprints so that everyone can follow them.”
Thanks to Major League Baseball more kids in the Northland might just find their place at the Boys and Girls Club.
Johnson hopes the renovation will only take about three months once the funds arrive and contractors are consulted.
The Boys and Girls Club are not the only winners though. All the home runs helped raise over $400,000 that will be split among other charities.
Northlanders Work To Improve MN Child Protective Services
After a Minnesota boy died despite 15 reports of child abuse, Governor Mark Dayton organized a task force to improve the system and protect our kids. The group visited Duluth Wednesday for input from people in northeastern Minnesota.
Request Denied to Remove Judge on Peterson Case
A prosecution request to remove the judge handling the felony child abuse case against Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson has been denied.
Bilingual Signs on FDL Reservation Preserve Anishinaabe Culture
Two new bilingual signs have been put up in St. Louis County, to show the English and Ojibwe names of lakes.
Wade Stadium Gets New and Improved AstroTurf
New AstroTurf has been installed at Wade Stadium, and crews will be finishing up the final touches in the coming days. The turf means there won't be the need to water and fertilize the field next year.
YWCA Honors Women of Distinction
The YWCA held a special celebration of women and the roles they play in the community on Wednesday. The honorees at this year's Women of Distinction Award Luncheon include Babette Sandman, Shunu Shrestha, Betty Brasgala and Joan Peterson.