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White Sox launch Volunteer Corps

White Sox launch Volunteer Corps

CHICAGO -- The White Sox officially launched the team's Volunteer Corps through Saturday's White Sox Service Day. The program began with a morning kickoff ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field, which included Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Richard Daley -- both of whom are White Sox fans.

From there, members of the Volunteer Corps traveled to Holy Angels Boys and Girls Club and the Valentine Boys and Girls Club to assist in restoration work at the two locations near the ballpark.

This Volunteer Corps, created by the White Sox in response to President Obama's call for Americans to better their communities through service, included members of the front office and fans who registered to volunteer at whitesox.com.

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Saturday's Corps also included manager Ozzie Guillen, bullpen coach Mark Salas, third-base coach Jeff Cox and players Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Matt Thornton, Jayson Nix, Brian Anderson, Mark Buehrle, A.J. Pierzynski, Gavin Floyd, Lance Broadway, Clayton Richard and Dewayne Wise.

All of these players gave their time and help before defeating the Rangers by a 3-2 margin on Saturday night.

"That's priceless, spending time with the community," Guillen said. "It's a great idea, and it's our responsibility to help the community. I'm going to thank my players who show up here and do what they are doing."

"It's something that I grew up going to Boys and Girls Clubs, and it's great to see volunteers come out and support what's going on here," Dye said. "To be able to give kids somewhere to come and have fun and enjoy life ... it's something we have to do to make sure these kids have a safe environment to have fun and learn a little bit."

Dye has been involved with Chicago area Boys and Girls Clubs through JD's MVPs since coming to the White Sox. Guillen simply was impressed by the scope and meaning of Saturday's events.

"When the governor gets involved with this, it's awesome. Mayor Daley and all the players, it's a great idea," Guillen said. "Players take time to help and be part of the project. That's all we can do. When you get involved, the city is going to be better."

"Sometimes we just pop up," Dye said. "That's the exciting part about it, putting smiles on people's faces, showing we are human, too, and not just the professional athlete they see from a distance. We do want to commit to good things in the community."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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