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WHAT IS THE NORTHWOODS LEAGUE FOUNDATION?

The Northwoods League Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as a vehicle to transform a shared passion for baseball into positive change and support for communities. Of the many needs the foundation may address through grants, scholarships or donations, one ongoing focus will be to view its member communities and look upon the baseball programs they have in place with a harmonious goal of making them all finer places to live.

The Mission
To utilize the game of baseball to enrich the quality of life for children and families with an enduring
and caring focus on Northwoods League communities.

The Vision
To harness and transform the unique passion of Northwoods League’s fans, players, management and owners
to positively impact Northwoods League communities.

The Value
The Northwoods League Foundation believes that through its Mission and Vision, Northwoods League communities will continue to develop and enjoy wide-ranging experiences and appreciation of the great game of baseball.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

Through its Share the Glove initiative, the Northwoods League Foundation has awarded $100,000 in baseball and softball equipment to youth organizations across its 22 affiliate markets.

February 19, 2020, Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League Foundation will be awarding more than $50,000 in youth baseball and softball equipment through 22 Share the Glove grants to be awarded this Spring. Each grant, with a retail value in excess of $2000, will include one sets of catcher’s gear (plus mitt), ten fielding gloves, eight batting helmets, six bats and one bucket of practice balls.

Eleven baseball grants and eleven softball grants will be awarded across the Northwoods League footprint to eligible youth organizations. Northwoods League affiliate teams will be coordinating the application process within their respective communities throughout the Spring, with the baseball and softball grants being allocated as follows:

Softball Grants: Battle Creek, MI; Fond du Lac, WI; Green Bay, WI; Kalamazoo, MI; Kenosha, WI; Lakeshore, WI; Madison, WI; Rockford, IL; Traverse City, MI; Wausau, WI; Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

Baseball Grants: Bismarck, ND; Duluth, MN; Eau Claire, WI; Kokomo, IN; La Crosse, WI; Mankato, MN; Rochester, MN; St. Cloud, MN; Thunder Bay, ONT; Waterloo, IA; Willmar, MN.

From the applications collected, the Northwoods League Foundation will select one (1) recipient in each community.  Organizations must meet the applicable criteria, which includes compliance with IRS 501(c)(3) guidelines.

The Northwoods League Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves as a vehicle to transform a shared passion for baseball into positive change and support for communities. The Mission of the Northwoods League Foundation is to utilize the game of baseball to enrich the quality of life for children and families with an enduring and caring focus on Northwoods League communities.

“Hopefully, all of us can fondly reflect about a time in our childhood playing ball and how fun it was, never fully realizing at the time how much it also positively shaped our character,” said Northwoods League Foundation Secretary Gary Hoover.  “The Northwoods League Foundation’s Share the Glove initiative directly speaks to making those same memories for children in the communities where the Northwoods League plays.  It is a joy to make these grants possible.”

For more details, please visit northwoodsleague.com/share-the-glove, or contact your local Northwoods League team.

The Northwoods League Foundation funds projects to enhance the baseball experience in its respective communities.

Kalamazoo, MI: In April of 2018, the Northwoods League Foundation, the City of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Growlers partnered to install a one of a kind accessible seating upgrade to Homer Stryker Field. The improvement incorporated hockey dasher boards as the new barrier and backstop for the area behind home plate. This upgrade add 82 accessible seats.

Growlers Managing Partner, Brian Colopy, said, “The goal for the project was to provide access to our most premium areas of the ballpark that weren’t accessible in prior years. Accessibility is a priority for our organization and the city of Kalamazoo and we are extremely lucky the Northwoods League Foundation made this commitment to our community.”

Wisconsin Rapids, WI: In 2014, the foundation provided funding to build an Interactive Accessible Seating Area at Witter Field, home of the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters. Witter Field, built in 1949, had less than ideal handicap accessible seating in its previous configuration. With ramps that were too steep, sight lines that were obstructed and substandard companion seating, the limitations were a deterrent to handicap community members participating in the ballpark experience.

The new Interactive Accessible Seating Area consists of a concrete patio connected to the existing grandstand with a platform level with the existing walkway, providing easy access to the main grandstand. To accommodate fans with varying disabilities, this unique venue includes:

  • Room for 16 handicap accessible spaces or companion seats.
  • iPads for ordering concessions and viewing the Northwoods League webcast at the touch of a built-in link on the device.
  • Each device is protected with a weather proof cover.
  • Wait service is provided on a nightly basis.
  • Complimentary head-phones are available in the area that plug into each iPad and sync with the live broadcast for the hearing impaired.
  • Drink rail for the iPad and concessions items.
  • Installation of a high-visibility net that protects both fans in the new area and fans in the River-view Family Clinic Fan Zone.

SUPPORTING THE FOUNDATION

Do you have a passion for baseball and enriching the lives of others? The Northwoods League Foundation relies on support from many sources to bring to life its vision.  There are several ways you can join in this effort.

Memorabilia – Collect a piece of the excitement with signed memorabilia from Northwoods League stars. Items are available online or at your local Northwoods League ballpark. Proceeds from memorabilia sales support the NWL Foundation.

Clip Service – Receive written and video articles and highlights all season long from more than 200,000 newspapers, websites, radio and TV stations covering your favorite Northwoods League team, delivered daily to your email. Subscription fees support the NWL Foundation.

Watch Games Live – Northwoods League fans can enjoy live streaming of more than 700 league games and showcase events. In partnership with Stretch Internet, the Northwoods League offers multiple subscription options that can be accessed through your PC or on mobile devices and tablets, with a portion of the proceeds from all subscriptions helping support the NWL Foundation.

The Northwoods League live video streaming operation is a one-of-a-kind operation in Summer Collegiate Baseball. Each Northwoods League team has a 4 camera video operation in place to capture all the action at its ballpark, and the League produces a pre-game show in addition to other shows from the Northwoods League studio.

Major League Dreams Showcase – Major League scouts hand-select the league’s top 100 players to form four teams for a one day, double header, can’t miss event! Proceeds from this marquee event support the NWL Foundation.

Donate Now – .You can donate to the Northwoods League Foundation by following this link: Donate Now

Shop – All proceeds from sales in the Northwoods League on-line store go to support the Northwoods League Foundation.

MORE INFORMATION

The Foundation is under the direction of a seven-member Board of Directors. For more information on the Northwoods League Foundation, please contact:

Matt Bomberg, President, Great Lakes Division
matt@northwoodsleague.com