Pirates Charities and Bradenton Boosters Giving Back to Local Community

There’s a lot more to having the Pittsburg Pirates in Bradenton than baseball.  Pirates Charities and the Bradenton Boosters are also hard at work helping to make a difference in our community.

As part of Pirates Charities Adopt-a-School program, which was created in 2014, the Pittsburgh Pirates have entered into a partnership with the Mosaic Company and the Manatee Education Foundation to provide $30,000 in support to six Manatee County elementary and middle schools in the coming year.

The funds will be utilized to help purchase items such as school supplies and books for Wakeland Elementary School of International Studies, Ballard Elementary School, G.D. Rogers Garden Elementary School, James Tillman Elementary Magnet School, Myakka City Elementary and Martha B. King Middle School.  Wakeland Elementary will also receive help aimed at improving its reading and literacy initiative.

Such generosity would not be possible without the dedication of our very own Bradenton Boosters.  The Bradenton Boosters have been volunteering at Pirates Spring Training since 1969, working at McKechnie Field as ushers, program sellers, parking lot attendants, security personnel, merchandise sellers, and press box attendants.

In addition to volunteering their time, the group has made annual financial donations to help to grow several Pirates Charities programs in Manatee County.  Earlier this month, they made a donation to Pirates Charities for the 2016 season, presenting a check for $35,000 to Pirates Senior Director of Florida Operations Trevor Gooby.

The Bradenton Boosters conduct several events for its members each year, including a breakfast in January and a luncheon in February — plus a trip to Pittsburgh each summer.  Anyone interested in getting involved with this wonderful group can get a membership application at McKechnie Field on any spring training game day.

The attorneys at Heintz & Becker extend their thanks to Pirates Charities and the Bradenton Boosters.  We feel extremely fortunate to have Pirates baseball and these great organizations in our community and urge all of our readers to get out to the ballpark and support our team.  Go Pirates!

Source(s): OurSports Central, “Bradenton Boosters Make Annual Donation’, posted March 7, 2016; OurSports Central, “Pirates Adopt a School Program to Help Local Schools”, posted March 17, 2016

Brain Injury Series Part 7: The NFL Concussion Protocol is Subject of Post-Season Review

Throughout the 2015 NFL season, fans were frequently advised that a player was entering the “concussion protocol” and would need to be “cleared” before returning to play.  Based on the observations of the sideline staff and a spotter located in the press box above the field, players will be evaluated on the sideline and removed from play if a concussion was suspected.

If confirmed, players then enter the concussion protocol.  It’s been estimated that close to 200 concussions were suffered by NFL players this past season, and in some of those cases the NFL concussion protocol missed its mark.

One of those cases involved the failure of sideline staff to remove Rams quarterback Case Keenum from the game after his head was slammed to the ground in the Rams’ Week 11 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Another case involved the “clearance” of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by team doctors just days after suffering a concussion, which was reversed the following day after an independent neurologist concluded that it was too early to clear him to return to competition.

Concussion Protocol

In light of the issues and concerns that were raised during the season, the NFL will undertake a review of its concussion protocol this offseason.  So what is the concussion protocol?

Despite its fancy title, the concussion protocol is a mere four-page document that sets out five steps a player who has been diagnosed with a concussion must complete in order to be cleared to play.

In 2015, there was no minimum time requirement that needed to be spent in one step before a player is allowed to proceed to the next, but that is one aspect of the protocol which may change for the upcoming 2016 season.

Here is a summary of the current concussion protocol:

Step 1:    Rest and recovery. Players are instructed to rest and avoid electronics and social media.  Some stretching and balance activity may be done if approved by medical staff.  Clearance to proceed to the next step can be given when the player returns to his previous baseline (pre-concussion) cognitive function test levels.

Step 2:    Light aerobic exercise.  At this point the player may begin a graduated exercise program supervised by the team’s medical staff.  The activities may include using a stationary bicycle and/or treadmill, dynamic stretching and balance training, with duration and intensity being gradually increased. If concussion symptoms return, the activity is discontinued.

Neurocognitive testing is conducted as the Team Physician, in consultation with the team’s neuropsychology consultant, determines is advisable.  The player will be permitted to go to the next step when he can engage in cardiovascular exercise without recurrence of concussion symptoms.

Step 3:    Continued aerobic exercise, introduction of strength training.  The Step 2 activities continue to be increased and weight training is added to the program.  Supervision and testing is continued as in Step 2 and when the player can engage in cardiovascular exercise and supervised strength training without recurrence of concussion symptoms, he may proceed to the next step.

Step 4:    Football-specific work.  Now the player is allowed to perform non-contact football drills (throwing, catching and running) as a part of his exercise program.  Contact is still not allowed at this step.  The player can go on to the final step when he tolerates these added activities without a recurrence of concussion symptoms and his neurocognitive testing has returned to baseline.

Step 5:    Full football activity, full clearance. The player resumes practicing with the team and is allowed to participate in full football activity involving contact. If full participation practice and contact are tolerated without the return of concussion symptoms and the team physician concludes that the player’s concussion has resolved, he may clear the player to return to full participation.

However, before the player is allowed to play in an actual game, he must be examined by an independent neurological consultant and given an independent confirmatory clearance.

Bradenton Brain Injury Attorneys

Hopefully, each year’s post season review will result in continued improvements to the NFL concussion protocol.  Parents, does your child’s athletic program have its own concussion protocol specially designed for children?

If your child suffered a concussion while participating in an athletic program and was not given adequate medical attention, please contact one of our brain injury attorneys to arrange for a free, no obligation consultation.

Source(s): NFL.com, “NFL to review concussion protocol this offseason”, posted February 5, 2016; IBT Media, NFL Concussion Protocol: What Are The 5-Stages For Diagnosis And Management?, posted January 22, 2016; ESPN.com, What exactly is the concussion protocol?, posted December 20, 2013; The Washington Post, Explaining NFL’s concussion protocol, the five-step map for RGIII’s return, posted August 29, 2015; NFL Return To Play Protocol

Golf Cart Series Part 4: All Aboard the B-Town Shuttle – It’s FREE!

One local company is providing a wonderful FREE shuttle service in downtown Bradenton, Village of the Arts, Tarpon Point, Riverwalk and all the way to McKechnie Field.  The service not only helps people get around town, it also gives people the chance to experience the fun and convenience of riding in a Low Speed Vehicle.  It’s called the B-Town Shuttle Service and it’s hard to miss with its bright yellow custom built six-passenger Low Speed Vehicles traveling around the Bradenton entertainment district.

The B-Town Shuttle Service is the brainchild of its owner, Kimberly O’Keefe, who came up with the idea after spending a day downtown and thinking “I really wish there was a shuttle service here.”

So, after 35 years of working in computers and bookkeeping, she bought a Low Speed Vehicle with her own money and began providing complimentary pick-ups and drop-offs.  In addition, the company has an active Facebook page that lets locals know all about what is happening in the area.

Local business operators, including Mike Gold of the B’Towne Coffee Company on Old Main Street, not only love it but are helping to keep going by supporting it through advertising.  That support is what is keeping the service free to riders, although tips are certainly welcome.

O’Keefe says the B-Town Shuttle Service is looking forward to serving the citizens of Manatee County for many years to come and expanding its services to meet the needs of the community.  For information, call 941-238-8873 or email btownshuttle@gmail.com.

As a final note, the B-Town Shuttle Service assures its riders that it is licensed and insured.  We’ll be exploring those subjects in upcoming posts.  The entire firm of Heintz & Becker offers its enthusiastic appreciation to Kimberly O’Keefe and the B-Town Shuttle Service and we encourage everyone to get on board and support this valuable service.

Source(s):  Bradenton Herald, “New B-Town Shuttle service coming to downtown Bradenton”, posted March 3, 2015, WWSB My Suncoast, “Bradenton residents create free B Town Shuttle service”, posted May 4, 2015, Bradenton Herald letter to the editor, “B-Town golf cart service meets legal requirements”, posted May 16, 2015