Northwoods League Foundation Enriches Communities of NWL Communities

WHAT IS THE NORTHWOODS LEAGUE FOUNDATION?

The Northwoods League Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as a vehicle to transform a shared passion for baseball into positive change and support for communities. Of the many needs the foundation may address through grants, scholarships or donations, one ongoing focus will be to view its member communities and look upon the baseball programs they have in place with a harmonious goal of making them all finer places to live.

The Mission
To utilize the game of baseball to enrich the quality of life for children and families with an enduring and caring focus on Northwoods League communities.

The Vision
To harness and transform the unique passion of Northwoods League’s fans, players, management and owners
to positively impact Northwoods League communities.

The Value
The Northwoods League Foundation believes that through its Mission and Vision, Northwoods League communities will continue to develop and enjoy wide-ranging experiences and appreciation of the great game of baseball.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

Through its Share the Glove initiative, the Northwoods League Foundation has already awarded more than $130,000 in baseball and softball equipment to youth organizations.

Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League Foundation will be donating more than $60,000 in youth baseball and softball equipment through 30 Share the Glove grants to be awarded this Spring. Each grant, with a retail value in excess of $2000, will include one set of catcher’s gear (plus mitt), ten fielding gloves, eight batting helmets, six bats and one bucket of practice balls.

Annually, eleven baseball grants and eleven softball grants will be awarded across the Northwoods League footprint to eligible youth organizations. Due to interruptions in Northwoods League play and youth sports caused by Covid-19, eight grants from 2020 have been carried over and will also be awarded in 2021.  Northwoods League affiliate teams will be coordinating the application process within their respective communities throughout the Spring, with the baseball and softball grants being allocated as follows:

Baseball Grant: Fond du Lac, WI; Green Bay, WI; Kalamazoo, MI; Lakeshore, WI; Madison, WI; Traverse City, MI; Wausau, WI; Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Softball Grant: Bismarck, ND; Duluth, MN; Eau Claire, WI; Mankato, MN; St. Cloud, MN; Waterloo, IA; Willmar, MN

Both Softball and Baseball Grant: Battle Creek, MI; Kenosha, WI; Kokomo, IN; La Crosse, WI; Rochester, MN; Rockford, IL; Thunder Bay, ONT

“The Northwoods League is proud to partner with Rawlings and our affiliated teams once again on the Northwoods League Foundation’s Share the Glove grant, providing high quality baseball and softball equipment to youth organizations across the region,” said Northwoods League Foundation President Ryan Voz.  “As youth sport programs continue to navigate a challenging landscape, community support is more important than ever.”

From the applications collected, the Northwoods League Foundation will select an eligible recipient for each grant available. Organizations must meet applicable criteria, which includes compliance with IRS 501(c)(3) guidelines.

The Northwoods League Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as a vehicle to transform a shared passion for baseball into positive change and support for communities. The Mission of the Northwoods League Foundation is to utilize the game of baseball to enrich the quality of life for children and families with an enduring and caring focus on Northwoods League communities.

For more details, please visit northwoodsleague.com/share-the-glove, or contact your local Northwoods League team.

The Northwoods League Foundation funds projects to enhance the baseball experience in its respective communities.

Kalamazoo, MI: In April of 2018, the Northwoods League Foundation, the City of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Growlers partnered to install a one of a kind accessible seating upgrade to Homer Stryker Field. The improvement incorporated hockey dasher boards as the new barrier and backstop for the area behind home plate. This upgrade add 82 accessible seats.

Growlers Managing Partner, Brian Colopy, said, “The goal for the project was to provide access to our most premium areas of the ballpark that weren’t accessible in prior years. Accessibility is a priority for our organization and the city of Kalamazoo and we are extremely lucky the Northwoods League Foundation made this commitment to our community.”

Wisconsin Rapids, WI: In 2014, the foundation provided funding to build an Interactive Accessible Seating Area at Witter Field, home of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Witter Field, built in 1949, had less than ideal handicap accessible seating in its previous configuration. With ramps that were too steep, sight lines that were obstructed and substandard companion seating, the limitations were a deterrent to handicap community members participating in the ballpark experience.

The new Interactive Accessible Seating Area consists of a concrete patio connected to the existing grandstand with a platform level with the existing walkway, providing easy access to the main grandstand. To accommodate fans with varying disabilities, this unique venue includes:

  • Room for 16 handicap accessible spaces or companion seats.
  • iPads for ordering concessions and viewing the Northwoods League webcast at the touch of a built-in link on the device.
  • Each device is protected with a weather proof cover.
  • Wait service is provided on a nightly basis.
  • Complimentary head-phones are available in the area that plug into each iPad and sync with the live broadcast for the hearing impaired.
  • Drink rail for the iPad and concessions items.
  • Installation of a high-visibility net that protects both fans in the new area and fans in the River-view Family Clinic Fan Zone.

SUPPORTING THE FOUNDATION

Do you have a passion for baseball and enriching the lives of others? The Northwoods League Foundation relies on support from many sources to bring to life its vision.  There are several ways you can join in this effort.

Memorabilia – Collect a piece of the excitement with signed memorabilia from Northwoods League stars. Items are available in the Northwoods League online store. Proceeds from memorabilia sales support the NWL Foundation.

Major League Dreams Showcase – Major League scouts hand-select the league’s top 100 players to form four teams for a one day, double header, can’t miss event! Proceeds from this marquee event support the NWL Foundation.

Donate Now – .You can donate to the Northwoods League Foundation by following this link: Donate Now

Shop – All proceeds from sales in the Northwoods League on-line store go to support the Northwoods League Foundation.

MORE INFORMATION

The Foundation is under the direction of a seven-member Board of Directors. For more information on the Northwoods League Foundation, please contact:

Matt Bomberg, President, Great Lakes Division
[email protected]

 

David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]