ST. LOUIS – Redbird Rookies, a flagship program of Cardinals Care, is celebrating a major milestone: twenty years of service to the St. Louis community.

“Kids ages 5-13 are eligible to participate in the Redbird Rookies League, founded back in 2004,” said Marybeth Johnson, manager of communications for Cardinals Care. “Over the past 20 years, Cardinals Care has invested nearly $7 million, and we’ve had nearly 50,000 kids go through the program.”

Kids in the Redbird Rookie League not only play ball, but they also have the opportunity to see a show at the Muny.

“We also provide scholarships for ten of our Redbird Rookies participants every year. For $10,000 each to support their post-secondary education,” Johnson said.

Also, Redbird Rookies get free health screenings and participate in educational programs, including reading and learning life skills, through the organization’s partnerships with the Magic House, the St. Louis Science Center, and other organizations. Various fundraising efforts support the program.

“We have several fundraising events that take place over the season, including our Cardinals Care 50/50 raffle presented by Draft Kings at Casino Queen, where fans buy a ticket for the raffle,” Johnson said. “The raffle build up over a weekend, and at the end of the weekend, one lucky winner wins half the jackpot. While the other half goes to Cardinals Care programs such as Redbird Rookies.”

Johnson said the Redbird Rookies support kids on the field with equipment, uniforms, and coaching. There’s also a mentoring component and opportunities for parents to get involved in the league, which is making a big difference in the lives of children on and off the field.