What could be better than playing basketball in an air-conditioned gym on a hot summer day? How about playing basketball with a professional baseball player? Jeff Clement, first baseman for the Indianapolis Indians, spent the morning playing and hanging out with the kids at The Salvation Army’s Eagle Creek Community Center. “Today was a great opportunity to come down to The Salvation Army and spend time with these kids. It’s more fun, than anything because I’m just a big kid myself,” said Clement.
The kids are all part of The Salvation Army’s Summer Food Program, which provides nutritional meals for at-risk youth in the Eagle Creek area. “For some of the kids here, this is the only full meal they get during the day,” said Captain Leti Crowell, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army Eagle Creek. The program was started to bridge the gap between school sessions. Nearly all of the children qualifiy for the Federal School Lunch program and many would go without a quality meal this summer without the help of The Salvation Army.
A big part of the day is organized recreation and when Clement heard about the opportunity to go and play with the kids, he jumped at it. “It means so much to these kids that a player like Jeff Clement of the Indians cares about them enough to take time out of his schedule to come and play with them for a few hours. These kids aren’t just hungry for food, they’re hungry for attention. They’re going to go home after this and talk about it for a long time,” said Captain Crowell.
This is the second year that players from the Indianapolis Indians have spent a day with the kids at the Eagle Creek Salvation Army. Last summer, Indians pitchers Eric Hacker and Chris Bootcheck played whiffle ball with kids.
Jeff Clement, first baseman for the Indianapolis Indians, helps 10 year old Mikhal dunk.
The Timber Rattlers completed their latest nine-game homestand on a walk-off victory, but it was their work off the field which reigned supreme during the week. Tuesday, July 13 was the solitary off day for the club during the home stretch, but members from the entire organization showed their support for the Miracle League of the Fox Valley at the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers charity golf outing.
Manager Jeff Isom, hitting coach Matt Erickson, and seven players put down their bats and picked up their clubs at Eagle Creek Golf Course last Tuesday. “I had a blast playing with some great people,” said All-Star second baseman Scooter Gennett. “This was an awesome way to spend a day off.” Even with the enthusiasm, Gennett’s team didn’t come out on top. It was relief pitcher Caleb Thielbar who helped propel his foursome to victory. Thielbar, paired with a foursome put together by Chadd Scott of the Settle Inn, took home the grand prize that featured four Brewers tickets and four autographed bats signed by the entire Timber Rattlers team.
Each of the 18 holes had a contest, such as longest drive, closest to the pin and even the use of an oversized putter. While competition was prominent throughout the day, the true focus of the outing centered on raising money to benefit the Miracle League of the Fox Valley. Organizations were able to sponsor a hole or tee box to help support the event, and donations were accepted at specified holes. Raffle tickets were also sold for selected prize giveaways, including autographed memorabilia from Ryan Braun and Donald Driver.
Thanks to the generosity of each participant and sponsor, the outing helped raise over $5,500 for the Miracle League of the Fox Valley. The charity organization is a baseball league for children aged 4-19 with physical and/or mental disabilities. Games are played at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday during the summer at John Wollner Fox Cities Miracle Field in Memorial Park of Appleton.
The entire Timber Rattler organization would like to thank each sponsor for their help in raising money and for making the outing such a success. The Miracle League greatly appreciates each donation they receive. Please be sure to continue to show your support for these courageous young children!
The Gwinnett Braves Division of the Atlanta Braves Foundation will begin awarding monthly grants to local non-profits in August. The winner of each month will receive a $1,000 grant, 50 tickets to a Gwinnett Braves game, a concourse table at a Gwinnett Braves game and a check presentation. Each non-profit that submits an application will receive 20 tickets to a Gwinnett Braves game.
“We are pleased to present the Gwinnett Braves Grant Program to the community as it is a multi-faceted program that gives all organizations an opportunity to apply and win one of our monthly grants,” said Gwinnett Braves GM North Johnson. “Gwinnett and our surrounding counties have been extremely good to our organization and we are excited to give back to this wonderful community. I look forward to reviewing the applications and awarding our first winner in August.”
Each month features a different theme and organizations may apply for more than one month and area of giving. Below is a list of the monthly themes:
January: I Have a Dream – Organizations that grant wishes, dreams and opportunities for the youth, elderly, injured or sick.
February: Heart Month – Organizations that bring awareness and/or raise funds for heart related diseases and illnesses or that promotes a healthy diet and fitness programs for children.
March: Salute to the Arts – Organizations that support art programs or education.
April: Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Organizations that promote youth athletics or activities.
May: Cancer Awareness – Organizations that bring awareness to cancer prevention/detection or that raise funds for cancer research.
June: Summer Safety – Organizations that fund or run safety programs for children.
July: Red, White and Blue – Organizations that support the military or military families.
August: Back to School – Organizations that support education or after school/mentoring programs.
September: All About Kids – Organizations that benefit children.
October: Four Legged Friends – Organizations that benefit animals.
November: Thanksgiving – Organizations that work to end hunger and/or homelessness, that support children and families that are homeless or that run and maintain a food bank.
December: Season of Giving – Any organization that benefits youth, education or sports programming may apply.
Non-profits that wish to apply can download the Gwinnett Braves Grant Application at gwinnettbraves.com.
The Gwinnett Braves operate under the Atlanta Braves Foundation and specifically focus on those organizations in Gwinnett and its surrounding counties. Through the foundation, the team is dedicated to providing social, educational and scholarship opportunities for the youth in our surrounding communities in connection with the activities of the Gwinnett Braves baseball club. Gwinnett Daily Post Editor, Todd Cline, and Gwinnett Braves front office members North Johnson and Courtney Lawson, General Manager and Community and Public Affairs Manager, respectively, make up the grant selection board.
A night at the ballpark is always a lot fun especially when needed funds are raised for local charities. On Friday night July 9th at State Mutual Stadium the Boys & Girls Club of NWGA, Cancer Navigators, Children’s Miracle Network, Hospitality House, Murphy Harpst Children’s Home, and Williams Davies Shelter all participated in the 2010 Charity Challenge. Each organization sold tickets with a portion of sales going directly back to them. The top four teams selling the most tickets took part in “on field” activities like the dizzy bat race and the limbo to raise additional funds. Nearly $3,500 was raised.
The Murphy Harpst Children’s Home sold the most tickets, Boys & Girls Club placed first in the game challenges while the Children’s Miracle Network placed 2nd in the game challenges.