|August 6 , 2012|
|To Whom It May Concern:|
|Funai Electric Co., Ltd.
President and CEO: Tomonori Hayashi
(Code No.: 6839 First Section of TSE/OSE)
Funai Electric and Boston Red Sox Announce Fifth Year of the Red Sox U.S./Japan Youth Baseball Exchange
BOSTON -- The Red Sox Foundation and global electronics giant Funai today announced the fifth anniversary year of the Red Sox US-Japan Youth Baseball Exchange Presented By Funai Electric. The program allows children from Japan and the United States to visit one another's homelands and explore their customs and culture through their shared love of baseball.
On July 28th, a dozen Japanese youngsters from Kyoto, sister city of Boston, and Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo, travelled with two coaches to Boston for a 11-day stay with 6 host families in Greater Boston through Tuesday August 7th. The Japanese teens will participate in baseball clinics by Harvard and Northeastern University baseball coaches and will play games with several of the Red Sox Foundation's RBI Youth Baseball teams of the same age. Funai executives and the dozen Japanese boys and their Boston hosts will be honored at Fenway Park prior to the Red Sox vs. Rangers game on Monday, August 6th.
In the past five years, the exchange has run in both directions, with Boston boys traveling to Japan as well as Japanese teens traveling to Boston to participate in various baseball and cultural activities while living with Japanese or American host families. This year’s exchange was originally scheduled to take place in Japan, but the program was changed so that the children can enjoy and participate in many of the special activities in conjunction with the Fenway’s 100th Anniversary.
Funai generously agreed to change the venue to the US and Boston families quickly rose to the occasion by volunteering once again to welcome Japanese youngsters into their homes this summer, giving the young baseball players welcome respite from the continuing challenges Japan faces in the aftermath of the natural disaster.
"In the Fenway 100th Anniversary year it was important for the exchange to take place in Boston allowing new friendships to develop in Boston and at Fenway,” said Tomonori Hayashi, President & CEO of Funai Electric Co., Ltd., "This program continues to provide life changing experiences, and reminds us all how much we can share through educational exchanges and through our shared beloved pastime of baseball. In the wake of the earthquake and tsunami destruction 1.5 year ago, Japan received much support and encouragements from international friends -- our nation is recovering and we look forward to hosing 12 American boys from Boston in Japan next year."
“Funai’s continued commitment to this exchange speaks volumes about their vision as a championship company with a true global reach,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “We are
honored that Red Sox fans here in Boston have opened their hearts and homes to the Japanese youngsters, who not only share their love of baseball, but also have the courage and perseverance to travel halfway across the globe to learn about American history and culture.”
Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine, who has continued to support this international grassroots exchange program since 2009 while managing the Chiba Lotte Marines team in Japan, said “In a world where we are all increasingly connected, the common language of baseball offers youngsters a chance to grow beyond their geographic boundaries.”
This is the fifth straight year that Funai Electric is the Presenting Sponsor of the Red Sox US-Japan Youth Baseball Exchange program, which is coordinated by the Red Sox Foundation.
“Our hearts and prayers remain with the Japanese people, who each day bravely take on the work needed to move forward towards their nation’s recovery,” added Red Sox Senior Vice President Meg Vaillancourt, Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation. “We are particularly proud to host the young Japanese players here in Boston this summer and thanks to Funai, these teens can enjoy America’s favorite pastime while they make new friendship we know will last a lifetime.”
ABOUT PRESENTING SPONSOR FUNAI ELECTRIC CO., LTD.
Funai Electric Co., Ltd. Founded by Mr. Tetsuro Funai, the company was established in 1961 in Osaka, Japan. Funai Electric Co., Ltd. in Japan is engaged in development/design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of audio/visual products such as LCD TVs, DVD/Blu-ray related produces. Funai also produces printers. Funai has sites in Japan, Poland, Republic of China (consignment manufacturing), and Thailand. For more information on Funai Group, please visit: http://www.funaiworld.com. Funai Corporation in the United States was established in 1970 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Funai Electric Co., Ltd. Funai Corporation, Inc. was reorganized in May 1991, and is engaged in the import, export, servicing, marketing and distribution of Funai products in order to serve customers across United States. For more information, please visit http://funai.us/.
ABOUT RED SOX FOUNDATION
The official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation harnesses the power of Red Sox Nation to support select programs serving at risk children and families across New England. The Foundation’s efforts are primarily focused on our cornerstone programs, including the Red Sox Scholars Program, which provides tutoring, mentoring, enrichment programs and a college scholarship to academically talented but economically disadvantaged Boston public school students and the Red Sox Foundation's RBI and Rookie League youth baseball program serving more than 2,000 inner city teens each summer. The team charity also supports the new Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat stress disorders and traumatic brain injury, The Dimock Center in Roxbury and The Jimmy Fund, supporting breakthrough cancer research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
A 501c3 nonprofit, the Red Sox Foundation raises funds through special events and corporate sponsorships and grants. Founded and initially funded by Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Larry Lucchino and their partners, the Red Sox Foundation has won numerous awards for the impact of its innovative programs. Last year, the Red Sox Scholars program was recognized by Major League Baseball with the first-ever “MLB Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence.” In 2009, the Red Sox Foundation was also honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Sports Philanthropy Project with
the Patterson Award as the nation’s “Best Team Charity in Sports.” For more information about this unique Red Sox US-Japan Exchange Program Presented by Funai on the web, please visit www.redsoxfoundation.org.
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