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Published On: January 26th, 2018



No, not a real duck. But you could you could host a Mallards player this upcoming summer! The Mallards are currently looking for additional host families for the 2018 season. For more information or to fill out an application, click here. Being a Mallards host family is a rewarding experience that allows you to build a relationship with a collegiate athlete as he continues to pursue his dreams.

But don’t take our word for it. Hear what some of our host families have to say about the experience.


CHUCK AND DIANE ENDRES: “It’s our 11th year in the program. We’ve had [players] for quite a few years and enjoyed every minute of it. We have rules. If you aren’t going to come home at night, I want to know. Send me a text, and for the most part they do that. It’s our responsibility to make sure that they are taken care of while they’re here. It’s just how it is with me. When we first did it, we had a son who had cancer when he was 12, and it was sort of like this was a way for us to give back to someone, to help someone.” Diane said.

In one word, Diane summed up her experience: “Gratifying.” Diane said hosting Madison Mallards fulfills her, and keeps their large house from feeling so empty.

Chuck simply said, “It can be interesting.”

ANNE AND TRAVIS BLACKBURN: We have hosted a player for the past two summers, and it was a decision that we didn’t take lightly when deciding to join the Mallard’s Host Family Program. We knew we were a busy family of five, but also realized that we had so much more to give and this was one way that we could spend time together as a family during the summer but also contribute in helping a college student during their time here in Madison. We were fortunate to have had two fabulous players – one from University of Penn (Mike Reitcheck) in 2016 and also a player from UNC-Charlotte (Matt Horkey) in 2017. It was really fun to have a relationship with our player and their families, and also support them as they chased their dreams of playing baseball for the Madison Mallards.

Our children (Carter (11), Addison (9), and Nora (7) ) are able to watch a student athlete put so much time and energy into something they loved. It is something that we try so hard to teach and share with our children, and they got to see it firsthand. Our family really enjoyed making special treats and signs for our player, attending majority of the games, and showing them special places in or around Madison and in Wisconsin. It’s an experience and opportunity that we feel fortunate to be able to do, and know that our children will treasure the relationships and time at the Duck Pond in the summer year after year. We are already counting down until the first game of the 2018 season!