A group of South Okanagan baseball players are excited to experience the sport with a humanitarian and cultural aspect as they prepare to head to the Dominican Republic.
Fielded by the Wave International Baseball Academy, Team Canada will be making its first appearance at the Latin American Baseball Classic in August in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Saturday’s First Pitch event at the Best Damn Sports Bar is a fundraising effort to help the players with expenses.
LABC team is partnered with Beyond The Beach a small humanitarian organization that sends gently used sporting equipment to kids.
“The players will not only be helping bring the items to the Dominican Republic with them they also will be personally handing it out. I think it will provide some a perspective for these kids that they never thought about,” said David MacCoubrey, who is helping with marketing for the fundraiser.
The LABC is the one of the largest youth international tournaments in Latin American, attracting teams from the region for the past 32 years. Three Penticton players and one from Summerland will be suiting up for Team Canada.
Saturday’s fundraiser includes baseball games, themed drinks, a silent auction, raffles and live music from The Shake and Oceans and Lights. Special guest Jim Parque, a Chicago White Sox alumni and director of LABC Team USA will be making an appearance. West Coast Authentic will be running a silent auction and local merchants have contributed over $4,000 in prizes.
Baseball associations from around the province, including Penticton Minor Baseball Association, are helping reach the goal of donated equipment. Collected items will be distributed to Dominican youth baseball associations and educational supplies donated to Sosua Kids, a group that aids children on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic.
New or gently used baseball equipment is still being accepted and can be dropped off at the First Pitch event between noon and 4 p.m. to the LABC Team Canada at the Best Damn Sports Bar. Tickets to the First Pitch event are $20 and available at Tiger Alley, the Best Damn Sports Bar or at http://bcyblc.com/tournaments/support-a-player/special-events-promotions. All proceeds directly assist LABC Team Canada players. Tickets include a beverage, burger and fries.
Team Canada will also have be set up at the Downtown Community Market each Saturday collecting donations.