Spring training is underway and baseball lovers across the country are gearing up for another summer celebrating America’s pastime.
In Douglas County in western Minnesota, they are celebrating not only the skills that are being developed on the baseball diamond, but the values that the Northwoods League and the Alexandria Beetles are helping to develop in their young ballplayers.
As part of their community involvement, members of the Alexandria Beetles have joined Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County in the building of homes for families in need of simple, decent and affordable housing. On their volunteer days, they can be seen at the build site at 8:30 in the morning and on the ball diamond later that evening.
“It has been fun to see a new generation of volunteers joining us on the build site,” states Julie Klopp, HFHDC Volunteer Coordinator. “It has been wonderful to have them as partners in our mission, and to see them grow as individuals and as ballplayers.”
This fall, Shawn Reilly, Owner and General Manager of the Alexandria Beetles saw an opportunity to further the partnership through the Northwoods League Foundation. The Foundation provided a grant of $1,500.00 to Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County in support of their work and in support of the players’ community involvement.
“Our players have really enjoyed working with Habitat for Humanity each summer,” said Reilly. “I am very pleased that the NWL Foundation was able to contribute locally to help the Alexandria community.”
Great things continue to happen for the Beetles, and the 2012 season should see more great things! Since the first season in 2001, attendance has risen and the level of talent on the field has set new precedent year after year. The Beetles enjoyed their most successful year on the field in 2011 winning a franchise record 44 games, the most in the Northwoods League in 2011. The team used a League record breaking second half to propel them into the the NWL playoffs for just the second time in team history (first playoff in 2003). The Beetles took on the Mankato MoonDogs in the north division playoff series and went to an exciting game three before losing a close game.
There have been many former Beetles that have continued on in the world of professional baseball. Notable former players who have gone on to play in professional baseball include: Jeremy Accardo (Giants/Blue Jays/Orioles), Carlos Muniz (Mets), Josh Newman (Rockies/Royals), Nick Hundley (Padres), Danny Worth (Tigers), Casey Coleman (Cubs), Lucas Duda (Mets), and 2011 World Series standout Allen Craig (Cardinals).
Building ballplayers, building homes and building communities – a winning combination for Alexandria! For more information on the Alexandria Beetles and the Northwoods League visit www.alexandriabeetles.com or www.northwoodsleague.com. Find out more about how you can help to build homes in our community by visiting www.hfhdouglascounty.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County
Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County has been an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International since 1997 and has built 30 homes for sale to partner families throughout Douglas County, providing housing for 122 people.
Homeowner families are selected according to established criteria: need for housing, ability to partner with Habitat and ability to pay. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build or renovate decent, affordable housing. Partner families purchase the homes from Habitat with no-profit mortgages. Volunteers provide most of the labor. Tax deductible donations of money, land and materials are provided by individuals, organizations, churches, foundations and businesses.
For more information on how to support Habitat or get involved contact the affiliate at 320.762.4255, e-mail at email@example.com or the website at www.hfhdouglascounty.org
Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org, or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.