KALAMAZOO, MI – The Kalamazoo Growlers plan to sell out their first game of the season on tonight’s fundraiser for the Kalamazoo Strong Organization, presented by Steensma Lawn and Power Equipment. The event was planned in March to benefit the victims of the 2-20 shooting, but will also be raising money for victims of June’s bicycling tragedy. Less than 200 tickets remain for the evening.
By purchasing a ticket using promo code “KSO”, fans can donate $7 to the Kalamazoo Strong Organization. Those ticket proceeds as well as Toss a Truck and Kzoo Strong merchandise sales will go towards Kalamazoo Strong Org.’s programs including the 2-20 fund, cycling victim fund, and Tyler Smith scholarship. Laurie Smith, wife of Rich and mother of Tyler Smith, and Tiana Carruthers 2-20 survivor, will be in attendance for a pregame ceremony honoring the victims of the tragedies in Kalamazoo. The powerful event will provide recognition for those our community has lost this year and will also celebrate the strength and solidarity of Kalamazoo.
During the game, a silent auction will be held solely to raise money for the nine cycling victims. Items available for bid include a wine cabinet and private tasting, a weeklong overnight camp at Sherman Lake, K-Wings tickets and an autographed stick, a bicycle canvas print, and an outing at Gull Lakeview Golf Course. Other items have been generously donated by Hungry Howie’s, Y’OPA, Monelli’s Italian Grill, Landscape Forms, Radisson Kalamazoo, Webster’s Prime, Zazios, Old Burdick’s, the Gilmore Car Museum, West Michigan Beer Tours, Kalamazoo Athletic Wellness, DNR Sports Center, Panera Bread, Jaspare’s Pizza, Westnedge Hill Salon, Gull Lake Marine Center, and St. Joseph Today. A full list of items available is here.
The Growlers in conjunction with Zoo City Cycle will also be hosting a “Bike-a-thon” with local riders peddling a bike for the entire game. Fans can pledge a donation per mile ridden with all proceeds going back to the victims and their families.
Kalamazoo Strong night will also include a Wham City Light Show and Front Row Fireworks post game as well as a special appearance by Detroit Tigers great Frank Tanana throwing out the 1st pitch and signing autographs.
The Kalamazoo Growlers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 23rd season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 150 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.growlersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store and set the Growlers as your favorite team.