Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball held its bat-a-thon over the weekend – a huge fundraiser that keeps fees low, and could ultimately build the association an indoor facility.
Each kid takes pledges to collect money, and they each get a chance to hit three balls off a tee to compete for the longest hits. There are prizes – like association jackets and hoodies – for the longest batted balls, as well as the most money raised.
Executive member Pete Davey had participated in something similar while he was a player with Whalley Little League, and he and Ron Tuck spearheaded the fundraiser in Ridge Meadows four seasons ago.
It has been a hit – expected to raise $15,000 to $16,000 each year, and the preliminary number is $14,800 after the weekend’s events.
And it is a fun day, where the kids also play games and get hotdogs.
“The kids have a blast. We try to make a good family fun weekend of it,” said Tuck.
He said the executive is fundraising to build an indoor training facility. They envision space for batting cages, an indoor diamond and pitching mounds.
“So kids, when it’s rainy and nasty outside, can get in there and work out.”
Presently the association rents barn space a the facilities near Planet Ice, but can’t always get access when they want it.
Minor ball is looking at a $400,000-$500,000 facility that would be built near the newly renovated Hammond Stadium.
Tuck said local ball players could once again be looking at having top flight facilities. Adding fall and winter ball, as well as a midget ball team, are also important.
“For a long time we were the Cadillac association in the baseball community, that everyone looked up to,” said Tuck. “And we’re making a bit of a comeback in recent years.”
Fundraising by division:
Rally Cap – 1,895.67
Super T – 2,332.00
Tadpole – 4,239.75
Mosquito – 5,445.55
Pee Wee – 842.65
Top 3 Individual Players by donation (all divisions)
1. Carter Topley with $1,011, Mosquito – Rays
2. Luke Kuligowicz with $650, Mosquito – Orioles
3. Taydem Wilson with $355, Super T – Mets
Top Team for donations (all divisions)
Mosquito Rays – $1,479.55
Longest Distance Hit
Pee Wee – Ben Roemer at 225’ 5”
Mosquito – Braiden Lewis at 234’ 4”
Tadpole – Luke Christensen at 168’ 0”
Super T – Sam Lewis at 111’ 0”
Rally Cap – Colton Christensen at 106’ 0”