Local travel baseball organizations depend on community businesses and organizations to support their effort to give what often amounts to year round training to their players and support to families. During this Covid-19 crisis, it was time for those organizations to give back. Duneland Flyers Vice President, Nick Doud, thought of the fundraiser idea initially for just his organization. "But then I thought, why not reach out and make it bigger", said Doud. He reached out to other organizations through Facebook, text and email and before he knew it, 18 travel organizations from Indiana and even Illinois had joined the cause. #RegionStrong became truly about the region.
The 18 organizations included Duneland Flyers, St John Tomahawks, On Deck Fury, Winfield Warriors, Indiana Lightning, South Shore Smoke, Laporte Crush, Triple Crown (Valparaiso), Hobart Storm, Lakeshore Riptide, Mokena Blaze (IL), Valparaiso Green Wave, Michiana Scrappers, Schererville Shock, Portage Chiefs, Maple City Baseball, New Carlisle Longshots and even Indiana BPA, a statewide sanctioning organization got involved. I think this fundraiser was an opportunity for baseball programs to teach the kids that life is more important than baseball and outside the lines, it is important to come together to support your home field.
For every shirt or hoodie sold in a weeks time, 1 mask would be purchased with the #RegionStrong hashtag on it to be donated to miscellaneous organizations throughout Northwest Indiana. In the end, we worked our way up to 475 masks. That's almost $3,000 in masks to be donated. "We are still working with organizations to find out where the need is most, but as of right now, some of the organizations receiving the masks will be Franciscan Hospital in Michigan City, LaPorte Hospital, Methodist Hospital (Southlake), Miller's Health and Rehab (LaPorte) and a few other long term care facilities TBD.
"I think it's going to be pretty cool once we get to play baseball, to see other organizations at tournaments and see people from all over donning our '#RegionStrong' shirts. A constant reminder that we can come together for one common cause." Said Doud. He would also like to thank Blythe's Team Sports in Valparaiso for doing the work on putting the online store together and making the shirts, hoodies and ordering the masks