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.
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.
To harness and transform the unique passion of Northwoods League’s fans, players, management and owners
to positively impact Northwoods League communities.
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.
Through its “Share the Glove” initiative launched in 2018, the Northwoods League Foundation awarded $2500 in baseball or softball equipment to one youth organization in each of the NWL markets for two consecutive seasons.
May 22, 2019 Rochester, Minn. –The Northwoods League Foundation has awarded 22 youth softball and baseball equipment grants, each valued at approximately $2500, to youth organizations in Northwoods League communities. Each grant features a collection of Rawlings equipment, including two sets of catcher’s gear, ten gloves, eight batting helmets, six bats and one bucket of practice balls.
The Share the Glove initiative was developed to encourage participation in youth baseball and softball activities throughout the Northwoods League footprint, and was introduced in 2018 as part of the League’s 25th Season Celebration. Continuing this year, Northwoods League affiliates promoted the grant and collected applications from youth organizations in their local markets throughout the Spring.
“The Share the Glove program struck a powerful chord last year, impacting thousands of kids across the region” said Gary Hoover, Northwoods League Foundation Secretary. “Youth sports participation plays an important role in developing character and strong communities, and we are proud to once again support local organizations that promote these activities.”
The Northwoods League Foundation proudly recognizes the following organizations as recipients of a 2019 Share the Glove equipment grant (local NWL Affiliate listed in parenthesis):
- Lakeview Youth Association (Battle Creek Bombers)
- BYFSA Summer Fastpitch Softball League (Bismarck Larks)
- Duluth Girls Fast Pitch (Duluth Huskies)
- Hallie Girls Softball (Eau Claire Express)
- Laconia Little League (Fond du Lac Dock Spiders)
- De Pere Baseball (Green Bay Booyah)
- Three Rivers Little League (Kalamazoo Growlers)
- Wisconsin Shores Little League (Kenosha Kingfish)
- Kokomo Girls Softball League (Kokomo Jackrabbits)
- City of Viroqua Parks & Recreation (La Crosse Loggers)
- Port Washington Youth Baseball (Lakeshore Chinooks)
- Sauk Prairie Summer Recreation (Madison Mallards)
- Cleveland Community Education – Clippers 12U Girls Fastpitch Softball (Mankato MoonDogs)
- Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Association (Rochester Honkers)
- Roy Gayle Pony Softball (Rockford Rivets)
- Freeport Community Care (St. Cloud Rox)
- Thunder Bay Girls Softball Association (Thunder Bay Border Cats)
- American Legion Jr. Baseball (Traverse City Pit Spitters)
- City of Dike Recreation (Waterloo Bucks)
- Willmar Youth Softball and Willmar Middle School Softball (Willmar Stingers)
- Marshfield Sandlot Baseball (Wisconsin Woodchucks)
- Nekoosa Youth Athletics (Wisconsin Rapids Rafters)
Grant recipients will also have the opportunity to be recognized on-field at one home game of their local Affiliate during the 2019 season.
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.”
Green Bay, WI: The Green Bay Bullfrogs unveiled interactive wheelchair accessible seating in May 2015 funded in part by the Northwoods League Foundation. Fans with tickets in this area will have access to iPads with headphones to enjoy the game webcast and order concessions, in addition to enjoying a mid-inning Q&A session with the Bullfrogs’ field manager.
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.
Shop – All proceeds from sales in the Northwoods League on-line store go to support the Northwoods League Foundation.
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, Vice President