By Rick Hilton, Administrative VP, Delta Baseball & Softball League
Local youth sports organization, The Delta Baseball & Softball League (DBSL), announced recently, its donation of over $3,150 to East Contra Costa County schools. The donations will be made through a special DBSL program called, “Delta Goes to Bat for Schools” and this isn’t the first time this youth sports league has donated money to local schools.
Starting in 2012, the program has provided much-needed donations that give schools and their PTAs/PTOs additional resources. With the latest announcement, Delta Goes to Bat for Schools reached a significant milestone – over $10,000 in donations to local schools.
The Delta Goes to Bat for Schools program began at a late night board meeting in the Spring of 2012. Due to an unanticipated influx of new sponsorship dollars and an enrollment 5% higher than budgeted for, DBSL found itself with a slight budget surplus.
Several alternatives were batted around, but the league eventually settled on their local schools as the place where a few hundred dollars might have the greatest impact, both practically and symbolically for the kids in the league.
From this initial budget overage, they developed the Delta Goes to Bat for Schools program, making it a part of the league’s priorities. Now a percentage of the fees families pay to play in the Delta Baseball & Softball League are donated back to the school that the players attend, bringing tangible benefits to students beyond the DBSL. Board member David Chuey explains the nexus between youth sports and schools, “sports in general and team sports specifically teach kids things like communication, teamwork, good sportsmanship, and responsibility – all qualities that aid in their overall physical and educational development”.
The success of the program has inspired DBSL to go beyond donations. In addition to over $10,000 in direct cash contributions, DBSL partners with local schools to assist with carnivals and fairs, field day activities, and a wide variety of fundraising events, all focused on increasing the opportunities for local students to grow and develop their mind and bodies through better access to athletic programs.
This year’s donation of $3,150 will go to public, charter, and private schools in Antioch, Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Knightsen, Oakley, and Pittsburg. Representatives from five schools – Sutter Elementary, John Mir Elementary, Lone Tree Elementary, Orchard Park K-8 School, and Holy Rosary Catholic School – have been invited to the league’s Opening Day at Freedom High School on March 21, 2015 as honored guests. The league will present checks to each of the represented schools as a part of their opening day ceremony.
Matthew Wright, the League President in the inaugural year of Delta Goes to Bat stated “As an idea that was kind of stumbled upon towards the end of a long night of league meetings, Delta Goes to Bat ended up being one of the best things we did as a board of directors that year. It’s great to see that the leadership of the Delta Baseball & Softball League continues to make it a priority to support our local schools through this program.”
League President Mark Foley does indeed continue the commitment started by 2012 Board of Directors. “The Delta Goes to Bat program has become fundamental to DBSL and is high on my list of priorities for the league,” Foley said. “This program, along with our C.H.A.M.P. Buddies Program, exemplifies the spirit of community service and involvement we hope as a league to instill in our young players.”
The Delta Baseball and Softball League, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was founded in 1984 as the Delta Peanut League by a group of like-minded parents seeking an alternative to the high pressure, high intensity youth sports leagues available at the time. Starting with 6-8 year old players the league has grown to include children from age 4 to 13, and today continues the non-competitive legacy and vision of the league founders, and competitive divisions playing under the banner of Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Softball. In 2007, the league added a division for differently-abled children, the C.H.A.M.P. division (formerly FREEDOM division) where physically or mentally challenged children learn and play baseball free of charge alongside all of the other children in the league.
To learn more about the Delta Baseball & Softball League please visit www.deltabaseballleague.com or www.facebook.com/DeltaBaseballandSoftballLeague.