Stingers, partners and fans raise over $10,000 for charities

Willmar, Minn. – The Willmar Stingers are excited to announce another summer of community giving as more than $10,000 was raised for community non-profits. A variety of summer promotions including silent auctions, a charity softball game, and a Stingers fun run raised dollars that directly benefited local organizations.

The 5th annual Jerseys off our Backs Night presented by Thrivent Financial kicked off the 2014 fundraising effort by raising a total of $3,175 for the Willmar Area Food Shelf. This partnership with Thrivent Financial and Stingers’ fans has raised over $18,000 for the Willmar Area Food Shelf as a result of the promotion. 

“Community Involvement and giving back is a very important to our organization,” said Stingers co-owner Marc Jerzak. “With the help of our sponsors and fans we were able to raise significant dollars for non-profit businesses in West Central Minnesota. We can’t thank everyone enough for their generosity and commitment to the Stingers and this community,” Jerzak added.

The Stingers also partnered with members of the Willmar Police and Fire Departments who competed against each other in a charity softball game at Bill Taunton Stadium with ticket sales directly benefiting the Salvation Army and the Willmar Area Community Foundation. The event raised more than $1,800 and fans witnessed the police officers defeating the fire fighters in a seven-inning game.

The Stingers other notable charitable ventures included the 4th annual Get Stung with the Run 5k/1k, Home Runs for the Humane Society, Rely for Life Night with Southern Minnesota Beat Sugar Cooperative, and Community Christian School Night with North American State Bank. 

The annual fun run, featuring the finish line at home plate of Bill Taunton Stadium, raised over $2,100 for the YMCA Mentorship Program.

The Home Runs for the Humane Society raised dollars for the Hawk Creek Animal Shelter for every home run hit by the Stingers at Bill Taunton Stadium. The Stingers hit 31 home runs and as a result $775 was donated to the shelter. 

The Relay for Life Night featured an auction of purple Max Bats used by the Stingers during the game. Each bat was auctioned off with the dollars benefiting the Relay for Life Chapter in Renville. The Stingers and Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative also partnered to sell tickets and commemorative purple Stingers t-shirts raising more than $1,500 for Relay for Life. 

The 2nd annual Community Christian School Night presented by North American State Bank created a unique fundraising event that raised dollars for the school through proceeds from ticket sales, concession sales and $100 donated for every run the Stingers scored.

The Stingers will open their 6th season of Northwoods League baseball in late May of 2015 and the organization will continue to create unique ways to raise dollars for the community.  For more information regarding this press release please contact the Willmar Stingers front office at 320-222-2010 or visit

Food Shelf web

Left to Right: Ryan Voz (Stingers), Marc Jerzak (Stingers), Christie Kurth (Food Shelf), Andy Boersma (Thrivent Financial), Ben Munsch (Thrivent Financial)

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The Willmar Stingers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest summer collegiate 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 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (DET) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League YouTube channel.  For more information, visit