In 2018, the Wisconsin Woodchucks and team owners Mark and Donna Macdonald once again gave back to the community through partnerships with local businesses, donations in kind, and employing local residents for the summer.
The Woodchucks supported game-day initiatives to raise money for certain causes in partnership with local businesses. In 2018, the Woodchucks raised over $26,000 for these causes. Each home run scored by a Woodchucks player raised money for Blessings in a Backpack courtesy of K-Tech Kleening totaling $3,000. Every time a Woodchucks player was walked, money was raised for JDRF in partnership with Crystal Finishing Systems Inc. with a grand total of $10,000. In addition, each time a Woodchucks pitcher got a strikeout at home, money was raised for the Boys and Girls Club of Wausau courtesy of Cellcom K’s for a cause totaling $1,250. Two new partnerships this season included the Executive Cleaning Clean-Up Hitter of the Game. Each time the clean-up hitter brought in a run, Executive Cleaning donated $50 to Middle Grounds, for a total of $1,000. In addition, $2,500 was raised for The Neighbor’s Place courtesy of CoVantage Credit Union for every double hit by a Woodchucks player at home.
The Woodchucks also held special events during games to support specific causes in the community. On July 8th, the second annual charity police vs. fire softball game was held to raise funds for fallen Detective Jason Weiland. $910 was donated to the Weiland Memorial Fund as a result of the event. The Woodchucks held a create-a-jersey contest in partnership with Marshfield Clinic. The winning jersey design was worn on July 26th and the jerseys were auctioned off to raise money for the Marshfield Children’s Hospital. The auction raised $2,479 for the children’s hospital.
In addition, the Woodchucks worked with local youth sports teams and bands for fundraising efforts. This includes a ticket package that organizations can sell with a certain amount going back to their organization. The Woodchucks are happy to support these organizations and match all funds that are raised during the fundraisers. In 2018, $2,550 was raised for local sports teams and bands.
The Woodchucks also partnered with Culver’s and SUN Printing for Woody’s Reading Club, a summer reading program that local schools and libraries can participate in and earn a free ticket to a Woodchucks game along with other prizes such as a ballpark snack and game tokens. This summer, 45 schools and libraries in the area participated in the reading program. This included 419 classrooms, 400 teachers and over 8,000 kids and brought 432 people through the gates at Athletic Park.
The Woodchucks also had game day initiatives to support various groups in the Wausau community. This included the WisDOT Hometown Hero of the game which brought a local police, fire, first responder, or Military member to a game to be recognized on field for his or her service. At every home game there was also a Cellcom Field of Dreams Team of the Night, providing local youth baseball, softball and dance teams with the opportunity to attend the game free of cost and to join the Woodchucks players on the field during the pre-game ceremonies. There was a Fred Mueller Organization of the Night as well, which brought local groups such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Marathon County Humane Society, local police departments, Americorps, Habitat for Humanity and more to Athletic Park with complimentary tickets to a game. A total of 41 local groups were brought out to a Woodchucks game in 2018.
During 2018, the Woodchucks gave back to the community with 50 donations in kind to various groups including churches, schools, public safety, public works, and sports organizations. The team mascot, Woody Woodchuck, made 30 appearances to community events varying from fun runs, walks, school assemblies, community celebrations and more. The Woodchucks also hosted four field trips for school and community organizations throughout the season. Additionally, Woodchucks players, coaches and staff helped to host three youth baseball clinics in partnership with Wisconsin Chevy Dealers, with over 500 youth baseball and softball players in attendance.
Not only did the Woodchucks show their support through raising money, donations and mascot appearances, but the Woodchucks also employed 85 people for the summer. This is in addition to sixteen summer interns and five full-time employees. The Woodchucks are happy to support the community by providing employment opportunities each summer and by giving people an opportunity for their very first job or for financial support during the summer months.
The Woodchucks hosted 62 events at Athletic Park. This not only includes Wisconsin Woodchucks home games but also includes American Legion games, local Little League games, and additional community events including the Red, White & Boom 4th of July Festival and first ever Food Truck and Beer Festival. 52,671 people attended the events at Athletic Park this summer. The Woodchucks ranked 7th in the Northwoods League in attendance once again. The Woodchucks pride themselves in creating a family-friendly, affordable experience for the community with the great events held at Athletic Park.
Thank you to the community, local businesses, our sponsors and the Macdonald family for your support.