Donate Your New or Gently Used Baseball & Softball Equipment Today!
The annual equipment drive, which will run from May 25th through June 9th, collects new or gently used baseball and softball equipment for the YMCA Inner-City Youth Baseball/Softball (ICYBS) program. Anyone who donates a piece of gently used equipment (youth batting helmets, youth bats, baseballs, etc.) receives four lawn tickets to a 2016 West Michigan Whitecaps’ home game, a
voucher for Wendy’s, and one free guest pass to the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.
Drop off youth baseball/softball equipment at any Grand Rapids area Fifth Third Bank branch, Fifth Third Ballpark weekdays 10:00 am – 6:00 pm or during any home game, and at any of the following YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids locations:
- David D. Hunting YMCA, 475 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids
- Lowell YMCA, 1335 W. Main St., Lowell
- Spartan Stores YMCA, 5722 Metro Way, Wyoming
- Mary Free Bed YMCA, 5500 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids
- Visser Family YMCA, 3540 Fairlanes Ave. SW, Grandville
- Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA, 6555 Jupiter Ave. NE, Belmont
Necessary funding and equipment are provided by the program’s sponsors: West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Bank, Meijer, and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. For more information on the Equipment Drive or the Inner-City Youth Baseball/Softball Program, contact the Y at 616.855.9622 or visit www.grymca.org.
The Inner-City Baseball/Softball program is a free program for inner-city youth ages 6-14 that holds games at eight neighborhood parks—Riverside Park, Richmond Park, Garfield Park, Aberdeen Park, Ted Rasberry Field, Plaster Creek Park, Sibley Field, and Martin Luther King Park. The program has grown from 384 children in its first year to over 1,100 participants in 2015. Along with the children, the program saw over 130 coaches volunteer their time.
“We’ve set a goal of collecting 500 pieces of equipment this year,” stated Johnathan Pope, Executive Director of the David D. Hunting YMCA. “Every child deserves the opportunity to participate and the Equipment Drive allows for this opportunity.”
The league provides inner-city youth with a safe, structured activity, positive values, and opportunities to build self-esteem and self-confidence. To encourage families and neighbors to participate in the program, games are played at neighborhood ballparks, provided by the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department.