Well as you might have noticed, it’s been too long since we have provided some updates on the website! While it is no excuse, we have been very busy in the field, literally, on the ball field! It has been a fun season for us at Friends of Baseball, including three Portland Metro area summer Full Count enrichment camps, with the second and third camps just wrapping up. We have two more ahead to round out the summer! What a blast it has been!
June 20–24 at Ockley Green all day (Portland Parks sponsored week)
Jul 5–8 and 11–15 Partnership with SUN and Self Enhancement Inc for 1/2 day afternoon camps (Jefferson Cluster)
Jul 25–29 and Aug 1–5 at Roseway Heights for Madison Cluster –partnership with Madison High School baseball
This doesn’t include our pilot camp up in Seattle WA, in partnership with a fantastic organization called Baseball Beyond Borders, a community development organization providing developmental teams in the 16U and 18U age divisions through Inner-City schools in the Seattle area. Since it is a pilot run, it is a scaled down version of our traditional Full Count Camp, it is a one day a week camp, weekly through the month of July and into August. Important to have our programs expanding across the Pacific Northwest — but you don’t have to believe us — you can tell from the smiling faces below!
Opening Day was fun for us too! Not only did we get to celebrate it with our Partner Green Zebra grocery in North Portland kicking off the 2016 season, we also had the chance to give back to our friends at the Mariners. Specifically to a special kind of person by the name of Miles. Miles is an usher at Safeco field and has been for years, and he has made it his mission to keep the love of collecting baseball cards alive by handing out (from his own collection mind you) baseball cards to each young fan walking through his gate to Safeco field. We had the chance to replenish his stash of cards thanks to a generous gift from a local, true Friend of Baseball, Bruce Kracke. It was an honor to meet Miles and the smile on his face when we surprised him with over 10,000 cards — was priceless!
Off the field, we have also expanded our board with 2 new members (Cindy Nichol and Drew Hagedorn) who we will introduce further after they have had a chance to get their feet wet. We just conducted our yearly strategy meeting in June. Both Cindy and Drew are jumping right in to get involved from the get go! Nova and the rest of the FOB board can’t wait to utilize their skills and passion for youth baseball and softball in the NW as we continue with our Can I Play initiative!
And finally the biggest reason we are in transition, we are working hard to update our website, which we are very excited about! Not only will it be more informative, but easier for you, our visitors, to help contribute to the amazing game of youth baseball in the NW through FOB. Please stay tuned for the big reveal…coming soon!
As we continue to finalize the website, please be patient. Keep in touch with us through FaceBook and most importantly, come and see us for our Gala on September 23rd at the Oregon Golf Club (for information, email email@example.com). In the meantime, I hope this update provides a glimpse into what we are up to and a chance to say THANKYOUto everyone who has supported our efforts over the years. As we always say…#baseballbuildscommunity.
Friends of Baseball Co-Founder/President
When MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued his letter around this time last year, we were so inspired and motivated to learn that his priorities for Major League Baseball aligned so well with our priorities to Keep Kids on the Field of Play.
He said, “Baseball is a game firmly rooted in childhood experiences, and its vitality and growth rely heavily on giving young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to play and watch baseball.”
That’s why we were honored to have Commissioner Manfred participate in our 10th Anniversary Gala from afar with his special video message and congratulations not just to our Founders, but to ALLOFYOU who have been there along the way to help us help more kids.
2015 HIGHLIGHTS and MORETOCOME…
In 2015, we TRIPLEDthe number of scholarships we provided to boys and girls to play baseball and softball across Oregon and SW Washington.
Hosted our 9th Annual Coaches Clinic with over 200 coacheswith sessions by Dave Gasser, Kevin Gunderson and guest trainer, Steve Bandura of the Anderson Monarchs
We launched our Full Count After School and Day Camp program and are expanding to 2 MORESCHOOLCOMMUNITIESthis winter!
We celebrated 10 Years of Friends of Baseball’s work in the community at our November Gala where we raised over $35,000
And we have so much more to come this year…stay tuned!
Today, it’s the first day of 2016. You know what that means. A new season ahead…
The Seattle Mariners sent us a special holiday thank you video message to our partners and supporters who have done so much for youth baseball and softball over Friends of Baseball’s decade of service.
At our Gala in November, we raised a little over $35,000 to help fund our new Full Count program to bring more youth to the game. We are proud to partner with the Seattle Mariners to build community through baseball and have their support at our 10th Anniversary celebration.
Enjoy this special message from the Mariner Moose and his colleagues and our front office friends, Gina Hasson and Bob Hellinger.
And remember baseball is always just around the corner.
In ten years of giving back to the game we love, we have heard from and been inspired by you. You told us what baseball and softball means to you, your family, and your community.
You showed us the values of the game and how it shapes forever the lives of the kids who play it. How it transforms the communities where it’s played.
You told us how kids today just don’t get the time or the opportunity to play anymore.
If only, you said, more kids could have the chance to benefit.
On November 13, we celebrate you and that vision you shared.
Not only will we be celebrating 10 years of Friends of Baseball, we will be officially launching our new Full Count after school education program that delivers life skills to even more boys and girls through the powerful vehicle of baseball.
Bringing baseball back to schools through Full Count is our response to your question, “If Only.”
And we are just getting started for 2015. We have an exciting season ahead working to keep kids on the field of play. A few of the highlights:
Benefit event celebrating Opening Day with Green Zebra Grocery at 3011 N Lombard on Saturday, April 4 from 12:00 – 3:00 pm
Launching our Full Count Day Camp and After School program with an innovative “whole child” curriculum that works to build character and confidence for boys and girls within the framework of learning baseball fundamentals
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Friends of Baseball at Oregon Golf Club on November 13th
On behalf of the board of Friends of Baseball, thank you to our members, sponsors, partner leagues and player families for creating opportunities for success on and off the field for boys and girls in Oregon and SW Washington.
We are very excited to host our Eighth Annual Portland Youth Coaches’ Clinic again at Concordia University Sports Complex in N.E. Portland. This year’s guest speakers represent a wealth of coaching experiences, perspectives, and skills and drills that will provide beginning coaches with a starter’s toolbox and help experienced coaches hone their craft and serve as mentors to young players.
Our Expanded Full Day of Training Features:
Steve Bandura, Founder of Anderson Monarchs in Philadelphia and former coach of Mo’Ne Davis
David Gasser, Oregon’s winningest high school baseball coach
Join the Friends of Baseball Board and our Diamond Dreams Chair, Mark Atkinson in giving the gift of baseball this holiday season. Purchase a $25 youth membership for the BATBOY or BATGIRL in your life and your gift will be matched by our partners at Atkinson Insurance. Your generous gift will bring the joy of baseball to the child in your life and make the Diamond Dreams of a child in Oregon and SW Washington possible.
Two Ways to Win!
For just $25, you can give the gift of baseball and the child in your life could win a signed baseball from our Diamond Dreams partners, the Seattle Mariners. Every youth membership will DOUBLEyour investment in baseball and softball in our community. That’s right — we will get to invest $50 for your gift of $25!
For $120, you can take care of the grownup fans too! Your Diamond Dreams membership for the baseball fanatic in your life enters you in our drawing for a dream 7-day vacation for 2in Mexico at Vacation Internationale’s Torres Mazatlan Luxury Resort (pictured above) with airfare from Alaska Airlines.
Membership has its benefits…for you and your community!
Now you can share ownership in Friends of Baseball. Become a member and see your gift multiplied. Friends of Baseball creates opportunities for success on and off the field.
One of the top reasons that kids do not play baseball or softball is due to financial ineligibility. 3.5 million kids will lose access to sports in the next decade. Friends of Baseball is reversing this trend in Oregon and SW Washington by providing a safety net to boys and girls who want to play ball.
We have worked together with our community partners to provide over $2.4 million in programming, grants, scholarships, and equipment and serve over 40,000 children since 2005.
With your support we will “Keep Kids on the Field of Play.” We have developed a membership level for everyone and every member receives benefits developed specifically by partners in our community who want to recognize your generosity.