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Baseball Team Raising Funds for Cancer Foundation

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Photo credit: Aaron Suozzi

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Written by: Communicator StaffMarch 18, 2015

By: Mariel Villagomez

Spring is around the corner! Baseball season for Fort Wayne’s hometown university, IPFW, has begun.

The beginning of the season means that their annual charity of choice has begun. This year they decided to help the Vs. Cancer Foundation, based in Raleigh, NC. The slogan this foundation lives by is, in the time it takes to play ONE inning, FIVE children will be diagnosed with CANCER worldwide.

“Our player are taking ownership and running with this,“ Head Coach Bobby Pierce said. “It warms our hearts even more. Cancer is a terrible disease, especially when young kids have it. It’s even worse. Our players are emotionally attached to this.”

The foundation helps fund local childhood cancer programs and help fund research into life-saving cures for childhood cancers.

Assistant Coach Birely said, “They’re (the team) really behind it. They want to support kids who are less fortunate than them.”

Sports teams all around the country always want to give back to the community to show their support, they all pick different foundations so it’s nice to see that there is help all around.

When asked who brought this foundation to his attention, “Coach Birely found this organization, it was an easy choice. We both have children and we know it’s a tragedy and the more we found out about this the more we wanted to be involved,” Pierce said.

The IPFW Baseball team committed to raise $5,000 by April 18. On the end of the home series against Western Illinois, the players and coaches will present their check to the foundation and all 35 members of the team will honor the foundation by shaving their heads.

Players on the team had to sign up and set up their own goal to raise money for the foundation. A couple players, their goals ranged from $100-$1,000. All the players have posted their individual links on their social media pages and talked to their parents and family members to reach out and get the word out.

Zak Kellogg, a freshman catcher on the team, said, “I wear this bracelet because one of my high school coaches’ son died from childhood cancer. I am happy to be raising money for a good cause.”

The other two players, Jonathan Valenzuela-Reece and Chris Delgadillo, said they were glad that this foundation was picked and are happy to be able to be a part of this and help support a good cause.

This is a great opportunity for the baseball team to get recognition, not only for their games but how they also can help out the community.

Coach Pierce said the players usually help out around the community by giving manual labor, but it’s a good change to see them do all they can to raise money and have community outreach.

After the team presents the check to the foundation, there will be a barber ready to shave the IPFW player’s heads. Coach Birely said the players are excited to show their support with something as simple as shaving their heads. Kellogg said he wouldn’t mind it since he needs a haircut anyway.

You can help the foundation by donating on behalf of the IPFW Baseball Team’s page at https://team.vs-cancer.org/fundraise/team?ftid=43596 by, April 18.

 The team has already past the halfway point of their goal by raising $3,185 so far.