This Summer we set out on our third annual Play4TheCure Summer Series tour visiting minor league baseball teams. The Play4TheCure Summer Series first started in 2016 as a way for motivated youth ambassador, Ally Minker, to honor her grandfather who passed away from cancer. Through a personal connection, Minker reached out to Carolina League teams to host fundraisers at their ballparks.
Three Summers later we’ve seen the addition of new teams interested in not only giving back to cancer research, but also engaging their community to throw fundraisers of their own.
We detailed our experiences at each of the four games in this series and below we recap the highlights.
Summer Series game one: Frederick Keys
Play4TheCure partnered with the Frederick Keys in Maryland for the third consecutive year. This year, by opting into the Keys’ Pack the Park initiative, Play4TheCure was the beneficiary of a 50/50 raffle, prize wheel and specialty jersey auction at the game.
For this game, the team wore Washington Capitals Winter Classic inspired jerseys. The Capitals are a local professional hockey team that went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Summer Series game two: Bowie Baysox
Taking a different approach, the Bowie Baysox host a collective cancer awareness game each Summer. Coined Knock Cancer Out of the Park night, the Baysox handed out “I Knock Cancer Out of the Park for” signs. Accordingly, fans were encouraged throughout the game to take a stand for those in their lives who have battled cancer. Instead of one beneficiary, they invited several organizations from the area and connected fans to causes supporting the cancer community.
Summer Series game three: Potomac Nationals
Another original Summer Series partner we teamed up with in 2018 was the Potomac Nationals. For the second time this Summer, we were the sponsor and beneficiary of a specialty jersey night. The P-Nats grabbed fans’ attention by hosting baseball legend Jose Canseco and celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Jurassic Park. Staying in theme, the P-Nats wore and auctioned their Jurassic Park jerseys featuring a Play4TheCure logo patch. Additionally, volunteers were able to interact with the fans while selling raffle tickets, and running our very own prize wheel.
Summer Series game four: Bethesda Big Train
Finally, on July 13th NFCR was honored as a Nonprofit of the Night at a Bethesda Big Train game. This game was especially exciting for us because of our shared home in the Bethesda community. We partner with several high school teams in Montgomery County, Maryland and it was nice to interact with residents through a new teammate.
The Bethesda Big Train are members of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. The roster includes collegiate baseball players from different schools across the country. For one Summer only, they will unite to refine their skills and pursue their goals of playing at the next level. In the pursuit, they make time to give back to the community in which they play, while giving a voice to the organizations making waves year round.
Start your own Summer Series
To get involved with our Summer Series in 2019, whether it be hosting a game or joining us as a volunteer, reach out to Play4TheCure@nfcr.org.
Summer Series Fundraising total: $3,965
Next Stop: Fall Season!