The Gary SouthShore RailCats hosted one of the biggest parties of the year at the U.S. Steel Yard on Tuesday, celebrating Bishop Donald J. Hying’s 55th birthday. With the ‘Cats locked in a tight championship race, the fans’ energy was high as they cheered on their hometown club and raised money for the Bishop’s Mercy Fund.
Never one to hog the spotlight, the Bishop used his Birthday Bash at the Steel Yard to bring attention to the Mercy Fund, a charitable foundation within the Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana that looks to fund “projects that embody spiritual and corporal works of mercy” around the Region. This is the second year the Bishop celebrated at the Steel Yard, and he and the Catholic Foundation honored the Mercy Fund’s first grant recipients.
“I’m super excited that the people of our diocese have come together to support the Mercy Fund,” Hying said. “[The fund’s supporters] fuel the thousands of acts of mercy, organizations, people, and events. If we knew it all, our heads would spin, in terms of what our diocese does to serve the poor and needy. I just applaud everyone that’s helped with the Mercy Fund.”
Six organizations received support in the Mercy Fund’s first round of grants. St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Griffith, St. Mary of the Angels, St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Gary, St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center, Notre Dame School, and Catholic Charities all received honors for their work with children, the poor, the elderly, and other acts of mercy. The RailCats loved the opportunity to take part in the festivities, and a big portion of the day’s sales went to the Mercy Fund.
“To see people come together for something like this, and to watch us play baseball, is the best possible scenario,” said David Kerr, Director of Marketing & Promotions for the RailCats. “We exist primarily to help people connect with each other; we’re a place where people come together. It is core to what we are. We’re Northwest Indiana’s baseball team, and that means doing good in the community.”
While the Bishop’s birthday only comes once a year, the ‘Cats are always partnering with organizations around the Region like the Catholic Foundation to provide resources to the community. For a baseball fan, public servant, and community icon like Bishop Hying, there is nowhere better place to spread the good word than the U.S. Steel Yard.
“The bishop is so widely beloved, so anytime he can come out here and share what he’s doing is great,” Liz Metts, Executive Director of the Mercy Fund and Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana said. “It connects people together with what they already know, and connects them to something we think they might be interested in. It changes lives, so we like to connect those dots.”
Learn more about the RailCats, check out the latest results, and buy tickets to support the team as they chase their fourth championship at railcatsbaseball.com.