The Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls club opens

PHILADELPHIA (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Shane Victorino Foundation's co-founders, Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino and his wife Melissa, hosted the official grand opening celebration for the Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls Club on Thursday.

"I am incredibly grateful to the city of Philadelphia for embracing my family and me throughout our years here and we wanted to find a way to give back," said Victorino who joins a select list of MLB players with Boys & Girls Clubs named after them. "While our Foundation's $900,000 pledge was very ambitious, Melissa and I strongly believe updating this club is a necessary investment in the neighborhood that will provide children with unbelievable opportunities that they desperately need," he added.

The ceremony kicked off with a welcome and introduction by master of ceremonies Chris Berman followed by a proclamation from Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Michael DeBeradinis.

"We are so grateful to everyone who has teamed with our Foundation to provide positive opportunities for children in need," stated Melissa Victorino. "We are honored to be able to make a difference in the lives of children who are this city's future," she concluded.

The grand opening was held to showcase the newly renovated 105-year-old club. The Shane Victorino Foundation's mission is to promote opportunities for underserved youth in Philadelphia and in Shane's native Hawaii. The Foundation pledged to raise nearly $1 million to fund this renovation project in an impoverished area of Philadelphia. Beginning today, the club will be re-named "Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys & Girls Club," making it one of only a handful of clubs named in honor of an MLB player.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.