YMCA Kicks Off Annual Give-a-Glove Drive for Inner-City Baseball
Celebrity T-ball Game at Rasberry Field
Grand Rapids, MI (May 14, 2018) – The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is proud to announce it has teamed up again with the Whitecaps Community Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Meijer, and Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation for its annual Give-a-Glove Drive for the Inner-City Youth Baseball and Softball (ICYBS) program. The campaign will kick-off with a brief press conference held at Ted Rasberry Field at 4 p.m. May 16. There will also be a celebrity T-ball game which will include media personalities, local baseball legends, community leaders and kids from the ICYBS. The celebrity T-ball game is open to the public and will also feature a bounce house, petting zoo, face painting, games and food.
The Inner-City Youth Baseball and Softball program is a free program for inner-city youth ages 6-14 that holds games at seven neighborhood parks—Riverside Park, Richmond Park, Sibley Elementary, Aberdeen Park, Ted Rasberry Field, Plaster Creek Park, and Martin Luther King Park. The program has grown from 384 children in its first year to over 1,200 participants in 2017. Along with the children, the program saw more than 60 coaches volunteer over 1,758 hours of their time. Kids and families are also served free meals on game nights. This program has been impacting the lives of kids through baseball and softball for 24 years.
“We’ve set a goal of collecting 500 gloves this year,” stated Johnathan Pope, District Executive Director of the David D. Hunting YMCA. “Every child deserves the opportunity to participate and the Give-a-Glove Drive allows for this opportunity.”
The league provides inner-city youth with a safe, structured activity, positive values, and opportunities to build self-esteem and self-confidence. To encourage families and neighbors to participate in the program, games are played at neighborhood ballparks, provided by the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department.
The Give-a-Glove Drive, which will run from May 16 through June 18, collects new or gently used baseball and softball gloves for the ICYBS program. Anyone who donates a glove receives four lawn tickets to a 2018 West Michigan Whitecaps’ home game, a free frosty from Wendy’s, and one free guest pass to the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.
Who: YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Whitecaps Community Foundation, Fifth Third
Bank, Meijer, Grand Rapid Parks and Recreation
What: Annual Give-a-Glove Drive Kick-Off event
When: 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 16
Where: Ted Rasberry Field – 1050 Sheldon Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Drop off youth baseball or softball gloves at any Grand Rapids-area Fifth Third Bank branch, Fifth Third Ballpark on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or during any home game, and at any of the following YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids locations:
- David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids
- Lowell YMCA, 1335 W. Main St., Lowell
- Spartan Stores YMCA, 5722 Metro Way, Wyoming
- Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton SE, Grand Rapids
- Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlanes Ave. SW, Grandville
- Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA, 6555 Jupiter Ave. NE, Belmont
Necessary funding and equipment are provided by the program’s sponsors: Whitecaps Community Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Meijer, and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. For more information on the Give-a-Glove Drive or the Inner-City Youth Baseball and Softball program, contact the Y at 616.855.9622 or visit www.grymca.org/programs/special-events.