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Swinging for the Fences: Team Sets New Standard for Generosity Through Pitch In For Baseball

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (May 30, 2007) – In support of Pitch In For Baseball, Little League International’s equipment donation partner, the board of directors for Western Springs (Ill.) Little League, felt so strongly about the opportunity to help teach the right values to the children of the league that it decided instead of giving each player an annual participation trophy, the league would make a significant donation to assist other leagues in need.

In March of 2006, Western Springs Little League made a $1,000 donation to Pitch In For Baseball. The league’s board had its managers communicate the concept to their teams and the feedback from the children and parents was overwhelming. Western Springs Little League followed up its 2006 donation with another $1,000 donation in 2007. The note that accompanied the second check simply said, “Keep Swinging for the Fences!”

“We are continually amazed by the generosity of individuals and leagues in support of our charitable mission,” David Rhode, executive director of Pitch In For Baseball, said. “The biggest barrier hampering participation in the game of baseball in many urban communities, and internationally, is a lack of access to basic, safe playing equipment. Donations such as the one from Western Springs Little League have a huge impact on our ability to help children discover the true joys of baseball.”

Beginning in 2006, Pitch In For Baseball partnered with Little League International to provide assistance to Little Leagues in communities on the Gulf Coast of the United States in the wake of a devastating 2005 hurricane season. Since that time, more than 30,000 pieces of playing equipment have been collected by the non-profit organization. More than 50 programs from New Orleans, La., to the country of Slovenia in Europe have received assistance.

“We are only scratching the surface for what we can accomplish,” Mr. Rhode said. “Not every league is in a position to do what Western Springs has done, but trust me, every donation makes a huge difference.”

For more information on Pitch In For baseball, log on to: www.pitchinforbaseball.org; or contact Mr. Rhode, at 215-371-2841.