Former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields on Rays Opening Day 2023 with his wife, Ryane, at the rededication of the Big Game James Club at Tropicana Field. (Photo by the Tampa Bay Rays)

Jaclyn Citarella and Jennifer Ross, Family Support Services Pasco & Pinellas Counties‘ Community Engagement Manager and Background Screening Supervisor respectively, recently joined the Tampa Bay Rays podcast in honor of the returning name of the Big Game James Club. The Big Game James Club (recently the Home Run Club), founded in 2010 by Rays pitcher James Shields and his wife Ryane, provides opportunities for foster families and children in the system of care to attend Tampa Bay Rays games in a dedicated suite, as well as opportunities to highlight children free for adoption through the Heart Gallery.

Jennifer Ross has been part of the Big Game James Club since the very beginning and can attest to how special the Club is for children and families. “With James and Ryane you can feel their passion with the Club, with the kids and the community. They’re always genuine and welcoming — to our services and to the kids in care, and to the community in general.” Jennifer says she’s witnessed the bonds foster families and the children build with each other by attending games together, from the “VIP experience” and meeting James or taking photos with other players, to watching their personalities bloom as they come away with playdates and new friends.

Hear about the program and James Shields’ reflections with the Rays by listening to the podcast at this link. Listen to the enormous impact the Big Game James Club has had on children in foster care with FSS and how to impact a child’s life by jumping ahead to 44:09.

Learn more about how to impact a child’s life through foster care with Family Support Services by clicking here.

Click here to learn more about adoption from foster care. To learn about our partners at the Heart Gallery, click here.