Community outreach is nothing new to the Charleston RiverDogs as the leader of the Lowcountry’s professional sports team clearly sets the bar. But in return for the overwhelming support the region has provided the RiverDogs over the years, the team is happy to extend itself in return.
At beautiful Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, that philanthropic spirit can be witnessed through our weekly “Dogs with a Cause Night,” where local nonprofit organizations promote their worthy causes to patrons at home games that fall on Mondays. Away from the friendly confines, the “Be Your Own Fan” mission shines through in the “Reading and Running with the RiverDogs” program for schoolchildren, as well as monthly community service projects staffed by RiverDogs employees during the offseason.
This year, the RiverDogs are pleased to announce partnerships with Lowcountry Food Bank, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, Water Missions International and Teacher Supply Closet, which all position themselves to better help the Holy City and surrounding areas.
“Being a part of the mainstream community is vital to us and we’d like to think that we’re making a difference,” said General Manager Dave Echols. “Of course, we offer wholesome, family entertainment at a most reasonable price and pretty good baseball at the same time.”
In conjunction with local grocer Piggly Wiggly, RiverDogs fans have the opportunity to aid the needy and catch every ballgame with a special two-for-one rate by donating two canned food items to the Lowcountry Food Bank. With a grassroots network of more than 320 member agencies providing hunger-relief services throughout the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina, the Lowcountry Food Bank has been a pillar in the Charleston community since 1983.
Our “Raising Cane Launch-A-Ball” promotion has long been a popular part of the gameday experience as fans purchase $1 tennis balls and takes aim at on-field targets after each game for the chance to win tickets and cash.
This season, however, one has the ability to “have a ball” while supplying funds for the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy in their quest to lend a helping hand to emergency agencies and personnel in the Charleston area during emergency situations. Half of the proceeds from the “Launch-A-Ball” postgame throw will be donated to the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, which has proven a comforting presence in trying times, including the 2007 Sofa Super Store tragic fire that claimed the lives of nine of Charleston’s firefighters.
On the concourse this season, the Riley Park faithful may notice the Living Water Treatment System that Water Missions International has provided. A nonprofit Christian engineering organization, Water Missions International constructs these systems to allow for simple, durable water purification in developing countries and disaster areas.
Located near the left field line adjacent to the customer relations desk, Water Missions International is able to support a community of 3,000-5,000 people with the treated water. The RiverDogs are pleased to provide the space and hope that loyal supporters will strive to find out how they can help provide clean water as “the source of life” and add to the more than two million people that have received relief and hope through Water Missions International’s work.
Last but certainly not least is the club’s alliance with the Teacher Supply Closet, which serves the educational needs of children in the Tri-county area by providing a unique means to offer free merchandise for teachers to use in their classrooms. During all RiverDogs home games, fans are able to drop off items at the customer relations desk which go toward the Teacher Supply Closet’s goal to give every Lowcountry child the supplies they need to succeed in school.
With nearly the entire home slate still on tap, there are many chances to catch exciting RiverDogs action and “Be Your Own Fan” while jumping on board to strengthen the fiber of the Charleston community … like the RiverDogs have.