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FRISCO, TX, May 31, 2013 - Collin County is home to multiple professional sports teams as well as numerous nonprofit organizations, so it'd be logical to assume the two sides often work together. Given their different schedules, however, sometimes that can be difficult to coordinate.

Thanks to Grande Communications, local sports teams are now providing area nonprofits with tickets that are distributed to individuals and families in need.

Jerry Horne, Grande's Dallas area general manager, said the program was implemented in March to help provide those in need with entertainment they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to see.

"The entire goal of this program is to contribute -- give back -- to the community, specifically those who aren't as well off," he said. "Our involvement in local communities is a big way we build our brand and show people we care."

Some of the local sports organizations involved in the program include the Frisco RoughRiders and Allen Events Center. Grande already had a bank of tickets with the RoughRiders and Events Center, and the organizations worked with one another to decide ways the tickets could be put to good use.

After meeting, Grande and its partners quickly decided nonprofit organizations that work with the community would be better suited to decide who gets tickets -- that way, Horne said, the nonprofits can use their own discretion and provide tickets to those with the greatest needs.

Scott Burchett, vice president of sponsorships and communications for the RoughRiders, said the team's involvement in the program has been a resounding success. As part of its ticket program with Grande, the RoughRiders provide a full VIP experience throughout the ballpark during a game.

"It's a really unique program -- we meet them at the gates, and from there we take them and show them around," he said. "They'll meet our public address announcer, take a tour of the radio booth, then go down to the field and meet some players. When they leave they'll have photos with players and our mascot as well as a goodie bag that includes hats, a baseball and other memorabilia."

Burchett said the VIP ticket program has primarily gone to families, but there have been a wide range of individuals to take part.

"They all love it," he said. "They get to experience areas of the ballpark that most fans don't get to see. Everybody leaves with a smile on their face."

As for the nonprofits, they couldn't be happier that the people they serve have the opportunity to partake in an American pastime.

"These tickets go to families who don't normally have access to these events -- they wouldn't be able to experience this kind of thing if not for this program," said Melanie Perkins, director of development for Frisco Family Services. "We get pictures all the time from people letting us know how much fun their kids have -- it really warms your heart."

By Anthony Tosie,, @anthonytosie on Twitter

From Staff Reports

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