WASHINGTON -- The Nationals Dream Foundation held its seventh annual Dream Gala at the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor Saturday evening.
Players, coaches and front office staff gathered to support the foundation chaired by Marla Lerner Tanenbaum. Ms. Tanenbaum presented a video based on the gala's theme, "Diamonds Are Forever," that echoed the foundation's three cornerstone programs -- children's education, health and recreation. Three initiatives within each cornerstone were announced:
• The construction of a Washington Nationals Diabetes Care Complex at Children's National Medical Center, which will begin later this year.
• The donation of $400,000 in grants to regional non-profits including Jan's Tutoring House, Arlington Little League Challenger Division and DC RBI.
• The construction of three baseball fields at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy, to begin within the coming months.
A pair of familiar faces emceed the gala in MASN broadcasters Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo, while a live auction was hosted by the Nats' radio crew, Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler. Items included an authentic Washington Senators jersey and a chance to "Field Your Own Team" of nine players on the Nationals Park field before a game, as well as game-used merchandise and apparel from current Nats players. A Bryce Harper game-worn jersey was auctioned for $10,000, while a bat by the 19-year-old star went for $12,000.
Mike Fiammetta is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.