BCBSM and Detroit Tigers Celebrate Children’s Health with Annual Kids Opening Day, Invite Nearly 200 Kids for Special Experience

Brianna Neace

| 4 min read

Tiger mascot laying down on the field
DETROIT, April 5, 2017— In celebration of children’s health, nearly 200 children from youth organizations across the state and a local school will take over Comerica Park for the fifth annual Detroit Tigers Kids Opening Day, sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, on Sunday, April 9. Participants will join Tigers mascot PAWS and the athletic trainers from DMC for on-field exercises and activities, and receive backpacks, Kids Opening Day shirts and a healthy lunch prior to cheering on the Tigers as they take on the Boston Red Sox. “We’re excited to kick-off the spring season by highlighting the importance of childhood health and recognizing those kids who’ve shown a continued commitment to establishing healthy habits,” said Andy Hetzel, vice president of Corporate Communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Kids Opening Day is a great event that gets the whole family out for a fun, healthy, activity-filled day.” Among the nearly 200 kids will be five of Blue Cross’ healthy lifestyle ambassadors, who were invited to attend in recognition of their continued work to stay active and healthy, and students from the Detroit Service Learning Academy, a Building Healthy Communities school. Youth participants will also join from Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, House of Prayer and Praise Ministries, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lansing, Soul Harvest Ministries and Historic Motor City Missionary Baptist Church. As a part of the experience, the selected children will enjoy:
  • Pre-game, on-field exercises with Detroit Tigers trainers and PAWS
  • A 31-card set of #MIKidsCan baseball cards featuring the 2017 Detroit Tigers lineup
  • A Kids Opening Day t-shirt and backpack
  • A healthy lunch before the game begins
  • A game ticket to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Boston Red Sox
  • Front-of-the-line access to run the bases post-game
Four children will also be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take the field prior to the Tigers and meet the starting pitcher, second baseman, present the lineup to the coaches and manager, and throw out a ceremonial first pitch. All children 14 and under at Sunday’s game will receive a 31-card set of #MIKidsCan baseball cards featuring the 2017 Detroit Tigers lineup and the first 15,000 fans will receive Blue Cross cheer cards to hold up during the game, which also feature information for kids and parents on the importance of eating healthy and staying active. In addition, all children ages 14 and under will have a chance to run the bases after the game. Kids Opening Day supports Blue Cross’ ongoing commitment to children’s health and its #MIKidsCan campaign, an initiative focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits early in life that are likely to be carried into adulthood. Over the last 11 years, Blue Cross has given more than $6.5 million in support of kids’ health and wellness initiatives across the state, reaching more than 230,000 children in nearly 500 schools. For more information on Blue Cross’ ongoing efforts to improve childhood health, visit or follow #MIKidsCan on Twitter. To learn more about Kids Opening Day or to purchase tickets, visit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.5 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit and The Detroit Tigers, Inc., a charter member of the American League in 1901, have won four World Series and 11 American League pennants. An Ilitch organization, the Tigers play their home games at Comerica Park located within The District Detroit, one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Other Ilitch companies include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Development of Michigan, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Ilitch Holdings, Inc., MotorCity Casino Hotel and Champion Foods. For more information, visit, and
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association