The Surprise Sundancers, founded in 2002, are the official Spring Training volunteer organization of the Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers and the City of Surprise. The Sundancers are a registered 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that currently consists of over 750 members! The Sundancers also provide volunteer services at the Surprise Recreation Campus and other City Special Events. As a non-profit volunteer organization, the Surprise Sundancers raise charitable donations and receive contributions to support greater Surprise/Northwest Valley youth-related programs and projects, including the award winning Dream Catcher Park.
Surprise Sundancers announce the 2020 Scholarship Totals
February 20, 2020 - The Surprise Sundancers Board of Directors today announced the award totals for the 2020 Scholarship season. The total amount of scholarships to be awarded for 2020 will be $ 155,750. The individual scholarship recipients will be notified in the following week and will be introduced to the public and fans during a pre-game ceremony at the Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals game on March 13, 2020 (6:05 time).
This year's totals included a total of 95 Sundancers Scholars, a record number since the scholarships started. There were 47 returning recipients that were awarded a one year scholarship of $ 1,250 each.
There are 58 new recipients for this years awards. This is another record in number of new applications for scholarships. The new scholarships included three prestigious Mark Coronado scholarships awarded to the top rated candidates of $ 5,000 each. There were eight other top tier candidates awarded scholarships with a value of $ 3,000 each. And finally there are 47 awards for the first year scholarships with a value of $ 1,500 each.
All awards were made based on blind rankings to criteria by a sub-committee of the Sundancers Board of Directors. The scholarship application process is managed by the Arizona Community Foundation. The Arizona Community Foundation manages more than 120 scholarship funds for organizations throughout Arizona. Each scholarship has individual eligibility criteria. Eligibility for awards will be determined based on answers to the questions on the General Application and review and blind ranking by the Surprise Sundancers Board of Directors.
Sundancers Scholarship Deadline now Closed
February 1, 2020 -- The deadline for 2020 round of Sundancers Scholarship applications is February 14, 2020. All application forms and supporting documentation is required to be delivered to the Arizona Community Foundation by the deadline.
The Sundancers Board of Directors sub-committee on Scholarships will meet the week of February 17th to evaluate and score the applications. The 2020 Sundancers Scholars will be introduced to the public on March 17, 2020 during a pre-game ceremony at the 6:05 pm game.
Sundancer Scholarship application process is OPEN!
The Sundancer scholarship application process opened on January 1, 2020. The application process is administered by the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) for the Surprise Sundancers. The deadline for acceptance of applications is February 14, 2020. No applications will be accepted after that date.
Changes to promote equity and inclusion
Good news, the scholarship application process at ACF will no longer require reference letters as part of our general application and will now include a blind review process, beginning with the 2020 scholarship cycle. These updates are part of our effort to expand our reach to all students across the state and better protect student information.
On average, Arizona high schools have 1 counselor for every 905 students. Students who attend schools with a higher ratio of students to school counselors often face more challenges in gathering reference letters than their peers. We believe that removing the reference letter requirement will improve access to the scholarship application process, especially for high school seniors.
The Surprise Sundancers have reached the milestone of giving out more than $1,149,186 dollars of donations for the youth of the Northwest Valley since their inception. The 2019 round of scholarships set a record for most total yearly scholarships with $213,750 going to 71 scholarship recipients. Fifty two new first year students sets a record for first year scholarships and seventeen of the new scholarship awards of the highest tier of $5,000 per year were designated as Mark Coronado Scholarships in honor of the late Surprise leader and visionary.
Charity game will be opening day
The Surprise Sundancers Board of Directors has announced that this years Charity Game will be on Opening Day February 21, 2020. The Charity Game is the primary fund raising source for Sundancers scholarships. The Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers have designated this game's proceeds to go to the Sundancers for their scholarship fund.
All Sundancers are urged to tell their friends and family about the game and urge them to attend. The proceeds of ticket sales and concessions will go directly to the Sundancers scholarship fund. More details about the game and how we can encourage a full stadium will be announced in December.
Major League Baseball announces 2020 Spring Training schedule, games start 2/21/2020 at Surprise Stadium
Attention all Sundancers: Major League Baseball has released the 2020 Cactus League Spring Training schedule. Opening Day in Surprise, Arizona is set for Friday, February 21 with the Texas Rangers taking on the Kansas City Royals at 1:05 pm in Surprise Stadium.
Surprise’s home teams – the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers – are scheduled to compete against all teams in the Cactus League for a full slate of 30 games this season. Game times, theme nights, promotions, and television coverage will be announced in the coming months.
Online tickets sales open Saturday, October 19 for season tickets, mini plans, and specialty ticket packages. An online pre-sale for individual game tickets begins Saturday, November 16. All online tickets will be available for purchase at SurpriseStadium.com.
Specialty Group packages will also be available beginning October 19 and can be purchased by calling the Surprise Stadium at 623.222.2222.
The Surprise Stadium Box Office will open for walk-up sales beginning Saturday, January 4.
The Surprise Stadium game schedule is as follows:
21-Feb Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm Charity Game
22-Feb Milwaukee Brewers vs. Texas Rangers -1:05 pm
23-Feb Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
24-Feb San Diego Padres vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
25-Feb Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
26-Feb Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
27-Feb Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
28-Feb San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
29-Feb Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
1-Mar Oakland A's vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
2-Mar Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
3-Mar Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Kansas City Royals - 6:05 pm
4-Mar Colorado Rockies vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
5-Mar Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
6-Mar Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
7-Mar Cincinnati Reds vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
8-Mar Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
9-Mar Oakland A's vs. Texas Rangers - 6:05 pm
10-Mar Milwaukee Brewers vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
11-Mar San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
12-Mar Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
13-Mar Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers - 6:05 pm Scholarships Introduction & Reception
14-Mar Colorado Rockies vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
15-Mar Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
16-Mar Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
17-Mar Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Kansas City Royals - 6:05 pm
18-Mar Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals - 1:05 pm
19-Mar San Diego Padres vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
20-Mar Cincinnati Reds vs. Texas Rangers - 1:05 pm
21-Mar Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals - 12:05 pm
Countdown to Opening Day
February 21, 2020 at 1:05 pm
Kansas City Royals vs. Texas Rangers
Donations Now Available
Many Sundancers and supporters have asked how they might be able to donate to increase the number of scholarships and grants given each year. A person wanting to donate can set their own amount whether it is a one-time donation or a recurring amount to support Sundancers scholarships in the future. All the details on donating to the Sundancers can be found on the Donate tab on the navigation menu. If you want to get a jump on a one-time donation you can click on this button below.
Why should you donate to the Surprise Sundancers? All donations are used to supplement the scholarship fund. If you are a Sundancer or a Sundancer Board member or the parent or recipient of a Sundancers scholarship in years past, your donation will provide additional funds to be used for scholarships in the future. It is a win-win for everybody. We urge you to donate to the Surprise Sundancers.
50/50 Raffle Grants Announced
Sundancers Charity Game
The Charity game this year was held on March 11, 2019. The majority of the funds for the scholarships are raised at the annual Charity Game. The Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers partner in this game where all the proceeds from the game and concessions go to the Sundancers for scholarships. At this game the Sundancers Board of Directors with Surprise Mayor Skip Hall presented a plaque titled "Thanks a Million" in recognition for the teams support of fund raising reaching the $1 Million mark this season.
Sundancers Scholarships for 2019
Introducing the 2019 Class of Sundancers Scholars. The 2019 Class as introduced on the field March 9, 2019 during a pregame ceremony. The Surprise Sundancers Board of Directors and Surprise Mayor Skip Hall and Councilman Chris Judd displayed a check for $213,000 representing the total of scholarships granted in 2019. A representative group of the recipients appeared on the field and was cheered by the crowd and their families that were in attendance. The Surprise Sundancers have reached the milestone of giving out more than $1,149,186 dollars of donations for the youth of the Northwest Valley since their inception. This round of scholarships will set a record for most total yearly scholarships with $213,750 going to 71 scholarship recipients. Fifty two new first year students sets a record for first year scholarships and seventeen of the new scholarship awards of the highest tier of $5,000 per year will be designated as Mark Coronado Scholarships in honor of the late Surprise leader and visionary. Total donations include scholarships and proceeds from the popular 50/50 Raffle that goes to local nonprofits serving youth in the area.
Surprise Sundancers History of Giving
Updated for 2020
During the 2020 Spring Training season of scholarship awards the Surprise Sundancers have reached the milestone of giving out more than $ 1.33 Million of donations for the youth of the Northwest Valley since their inception. The 2020 round of scholarships will set a record for total yearly scholarships ($155,750 to 95 scholars) and the most first year scholarships (58 new scholars). Three of the 2020 new scholarship awards of $5,000 per year were designated as Mark Coronado Scholarships. The individual scholarship winners will be introduced at a pre-game ceremony during the March 13, 2020 game at Surprise Stadium.
With our charter to raise funds to positively influence Northwest Valley youth, the Surprise Sundancers have given out $ 1,334,661 in donations to individuals and organizations that provide services to the youth of the West Valley. Funds are raised for scholarships and through a 50/50 Raffle that is held during each Spring Training game. The 50/50 Raffle program has been in operation since 2014 and provided $ 124,160 in donations through 2019 to 23 local organizations that benefit local youth.
The majority of the donations are raised for scholarships with $1,010,500 given in scholarships since 2006. The first year, Surprise Sundancers provided $250,000 to Dreamcatcher Park, the award-winning, fully-accessible athletic facility located on the Surprise Recreation Campus near Surprise Stadium. Dreamcatcher Park is a multi-use athletic facility designed to provide a safe and fun place for athletes with special needs to participate in sports and recreation programs.
Beginning in 2012, donations were earmarked for scholarships to Northwest Valley students. Since 2016 the scholarship application process is administered by the Arizona Community Foundation. From 2012 through 2020 Surprise Sundancers have awarded $955,500 in annual scholarships to 176 students. Individual initial scholarships were valued at $1,000 to $15,000 each and additional yearly scholarships were valued from $500 to $2,500 per year. Of the scholarship recipients, 155 of them were awarded a total of $215,000 in additional scholarships to help them complete their higher education pursuits.
Below is the breakdown of scholarship awards by year:
- 2012 - $48,000
- 2013 - $24,000
- 2014 - $24,000
- 2016 - $215,000
- 2017 - $135,000
- 2018 - $140,000
- 2019 - $213,750
- 2020 - $155,750
The Surprise Sundancers are a 501-C(3) non-profit organization established for the purpose of providing volunteer services to support the City of Surprise with regard to promoting, assisting and coordinating Major League Spring Training activities and other events conducted by the City. As a service organization, the Surprise Sundancers will provide volunteers for game day operations during Spring Training season, and at other times of the year, and raise funds and receive contributions to support charitable, youth-related activities and projects within the community.