On May 6, 2021, new Sioux Falls Canaries owners Brian Slipka and Anthony Albanese announced a commitment to charities in the Sioux Falls area with the launch of the “Canaries Community Fund,” an initiative of the Slipka Foundation.
With enthusiastic support of Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, The Canaries Community Fund will focus on the foundation’s three pillars — education, community engagement, and character building among youth.
“The Canaries are so much more than baseball,” said Slipka. “People will see this when they come to the games. The team is excited to seed the Canaries Community Fund with a healthy six-figure commitment. As the season progresses, we will designate charities and causes in and around Sioux Falls and throughout the entire state of South Dakota where we can help.”
“We are especially pleased to announce that the Canaries Community Fund will extend the Slipka Foundation tradition,” said Slipka. “One specific area, as an example, is the hundreds of micro-scholarships for at-risk or in-need middle school and high school students to pay the fees associated with sports, extracurricular activities, and educational enrichment opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to afford.”
Said TenHaken: “Personally, I’m excited about the Canaries Community Fund launching into our area with a track record of providing strategic help and, by doing so, setting up young people for lives of success. The micro-scholarships are a great example where it allows young people to get out of the house and gain valuable experiences—which will be great for Sioux Falls.”
One of the first commitments of the Canaries Community Fund is to be the sponsor of the Canaries Baseball Team’s longstanding On-Deck Club. Through the On-Deck Club, the Canaries Community Fund will help distribute individual Canaries baseball game tickets to groups including disadvantaged youth, families with limited means, and nonprofit charitable organizations throughout the regular season, and Slipka said he is “proud to keep up this tradition.”
“We hope everyone will come to see the Canaries in person this year and to see the changes we are bringing to the team, to The Birdcage, and to the community,” said Slipka. “We’d like as many people as possible to be part of what we are doing, and supporting the baseball team will be a form of supporting the Canaries Community Fund—to support education, community engagement, and character-building around Sioux Falls.”