On October 9th, 2017 Rincon Valley Little League was hit with 40+ mph winds which in turn caused a wild fire that nearly engulfed the entire city of Santa Rosa.
57 children in Rincon Valley Little League lost their homes and possessions including their baseball gloves. My goal is to provide every one of these players with a brand new custom baseball glove for the Spring 2018 Little League season, designed in the RVLL color black leather with yellow stitching and embroidered with #SONOMAPROUD.
These families have lost everything. Many generous people and organizations are stepping up to take care of the more pressing issues like food, clothing, shelter, etc.
I want to make sure that baseball is not left behind. It is important for kids to have the sense of normalcy, to get back on the field doing what they love. The ballpark has always been a community gathering place, a place to relax, take in a game and forget about life for a while. As an example, look to the 2017 Houston Astros after the flooding, the 2013 Boston Red Sox after the marathon bombing and the 2001 New York Mets and Yankees after September 11th. There are many cases where baseball has had a healing effect on a community that has suffered great tragedy.
This is your opportunity to donate to fire victims with full knowledge of how your donation will be used and whom it will be going to.
A donation of $750 or more you will also receive a custom glove just like the players, embroidered with #SONOMAPROUD or any text you chose. Glove will be sized appropriately to your hand.
This effort is being done in cooperation with and the full blessing of Rincon Valley Little League. If you have any questions about the validity of this fundraiser, please do not hesitate to contact League President Mark Douglas , PR Director Corey Larson or volunteer committee representative Tim Bertini .
Q. What is the timeframe for this fundraiser?
A. Custom gloves take 4-8 weeks, tryouts are usually held toward the end of January. So, we need to place the order by Thanksgiving. We will keep the campaign open beyond that date if the goal has not yet been met.
Q. Why not just provide them used gloves? I'm sure they won’t complain.
A. Collecting 57 used gloves in good condition is a challenge, fitting each player with an appropriate glove is a logistical nightmare. A glove that has been broken in and formed to the original owner's hand will not fit or perform as well for the new owner.
Q. Why not just get them some off the shelf gloves from a big box store?
A. If we are going to take the time to buy new gloves for the kids, we want to make it special. A store-bought glove is just another piece of equipment. These custom gloves in the black and gold Rincon Valley Little League colors will be custom embroidered with either the player's name or an inspirational tag such as #SONOMAPROUD. We want these gloves to have special meaning to the players, something they will keep with them and hopefully pass on to their own children someday.
Q. What make/model are these gloves?
A. The gloves will come from Akadema, an American glove maker based out of New Jersey. Akadema supplies baseball gloves to many youth travel, high school and college baseball & softball teams as well current and former MLB players. I have purchased nearly 20 Akadema gloves in the past 3 years, the quality is very good for the price. My son and I have played with many gloves from the big name makers, some costing hundreds of dollars, and the Akadema build quality and durability for the price is outstanding. The manufacturer is offering a significant discount on the gloves, this fundraiser is to help cover the difference.
Q. What happens if you exceed or do not reach your goal?
A. Every dollar we collect up to our goal is going towards new gloves, whether we fall short or not. In the event we exceed our goal, the additional funds will be donated directly to Rincon Valley Little League to help cover the cost of field maintenance equipment that was lost in the fire.
Q. What is the cost of a custom glove?
A. Retail pricing on a custom Akadema Youth glove is $250. At that price it would cost $14,250 to purchase all 57 gloves. Thanks to a greatly reduced price from the manufacturer and some starter donations, we only need to raise $6000.
Q. Who are you?
A. I am the father of a 9yr old little league player in San Rafael CA, 35 miles south of Rincon Valley. I am a board member of San Rafael Little League, a volunteer for the Canal Baseball Academy Charity and Jr. Giants organization. I annually sponsor teams in both San Rafael Little League and Twin Cities Little League. I am a diehard Boston Red Sox fan, baseball is my life.
Q. Why are you doing this campaign?
A. Like many others, I wanted to help those impacted by the wildfires. I was inspired by the thousands of people who donated time, money or supplies to help the families. Some children may miss the 2018 Little League season, but I’m going to make sure it’s not for lack of equipment or money to participate.
Q. Are 100% of the funds going towards the cause?
A. Yes, I am making zero dollars off this fundraiser and in fact I am putting in a LOT of my own money towards the goal as well as covering whatever funding deficit exists at the end of the fundraiser.