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D-backs accepting submissions for $150,000 School Challenge

PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that they are now accepting applications for the $150,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix, to benefit schools across the state of Arizona. The program is open to all Arizona public, private, and nonprofit charter schools, Grades K-12, and teachers and administrators are encouraged to "make their best pitch" on why they deserve to receive this important funding by submitting an application online at www.dbacks.com/schoolchallenge by Sept. 30.

"Over the past two seasons we have received a tremendous outpouring of applicants needing assistance from our School Challenge program," said D-backs' President and CEO Derrick Hall. "In partnership with University of Phoenix, the D-backs are committed to helping launch new and innovative programs as well as assisting those that are in great need of funding across the state. We are dedicated to ensuring that the schools in Arizona receive the resources that will make the biggest impact on our students and the community at large."

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The D-backs kicked off the program in the spring of 2012 with the $100,000 School Challenge and received an overwhelming response that inspired the team to also host a $150,000 Back-To-School Challenge later that same year. With more than 2,100 applications over the past two seasons, the D-backs have been able to grant $5,000 to 81 schools for a grand total of $400,000 since the program began. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and the University of Phoenix provide a combined $150,000 for the program. The $5,000 grants have helped schools from across the state with needs such as educational supplies, books, updated computer programs, mobile computer labs and school improvements.

"University of Phoenix is dedicated to breaking down barriers to education by providing opportunities to those in need. The pool of School Challenge applications have demonstrated there are serious education needs all across our state," said Pat Gottfried, vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for Apollo Education Group, Inc. parent company of University of Phoenix, Inc. "We could not be more pleased to once again team up with the D-backs organization to help Arizona educators provide today's students with the skills and knowledge they need to become tomorrow's successful workforce."

The School Challenge is part of the D-backs' overall charitable efforts and earlier this season, the team and its charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, surpassed $37 million in combined donations since its inception in 1998, including more than $4 million in 2013.

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