Drinks on the Diamond raises over $45,000

LMCU Ballpark – June 23, 2022.

On Thursday, June 23, guests at LMCU Ballpark helped hit a homerun for the West Michigan Community.

Nearly 300 guests gathered on the infield to attend Drinks on the Diamond presented by Eastbrook Homes. With the help of the West Michigan community and sponsors, the Whitecaps Community Foundation raised over $45,000 for the YMCA Ted Rasberry Youth League (TRYL). The TRYL gives approximately 1,200 kids annually the chance to play baseball and softball for free in their own neighborhoods. The money raised supplies equipment and operations necessary to provide Grand Rapids inner-city youth with a safe and reliable area to learn the values of self-esteem, teamwork, self-confidence, and the fundamentals of baseball.

Drinks on the Diamond presented by Eastbrook Homes was the first fundraiser held on the field in Whitecaps history. Guests enjoyed drinks, food, and mingling on the infield before the program kicked off with emcee Candace Monacelli from Fox 17. The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids presented their 2021 Players and Coach of the year with plaques and recognized their achievements and dedication to the program.

A special thank you was given to the Get To Foundation for honoring the Whitecaps Community Foundation with a grant to help provide field maintenance to several diamonds at GR Parks so the TRYL can expand their area of play.

The Whitecaps added another legend to the Whitecaps Hall of Fame. Joe Jiménez, currently a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, was only with the Whitecaps in 2015 before moving up the ranks. Jiménez is credited with getting the final out to help the Whitecaps win the 2015 Midwest League Championship.

Keynote speaker and Detroit Tigers legend Dan Petry inspired the crowd with his stories of baseball and his mentor Sparky Anderson. Dan Petry acknowledged the mission of the Whitecaps Community Foundation, giving youth in West Michigan an opportunity to play baseball and enriching the lives of families in the community. Petry currently serves as a studio analyst for the Detroit Tigers on Bally Sports Detroit. He helped the Tigers win the 1984 World Series and the 1987 American League Eastern Division, and helped the Braves win the 1991 National League pennant.

Funds were raised at this event through sponsorships, ticket sales, silent auction, live auction, paddle raises, and donations. The silent auction opened two weeks before the event. Featured items included an autographed Miguel Cabrera jersey, two customized baseball-themed Adirondack Chairs, concert tickets, golf and spa getaways, and much more. The live auction included a Detroit Tigers experience package, a custom-made dining room table, and a trip to Bar Harbor.

The Whitecaps Community Foundation thanks everyone who supported the first Drinks on the Diamond fundraiser, with a special thank you to Eastbrook Homes, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Fox 17, Pepsi Beverages Company, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, and so many more who made this event a rousing success.

About the Whitecaps Community Foundation: The Whitecaps Community Foundation is the nonprofit extension of the West Michigan Whitecaps. The foundation is dedicated to enriching the lives of youth and their families by providing them with access to fun, baseball, team dynamics, leadership, education, and recreational opportunities. With the help and generosity of West Michigan residents and community partners, the Whitecaps Community Foundation continues to make the West Michigan area an inclusive and diverse place for fun, community, and experiences. For more information contact Jenny Garone at JennyG@Whitecapsbaseball.com  

About West Michigan Whitecaps: The Whitecaps minor league baseball team was established in 1994. The Whitecaps are the High-A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and play in the Eastern Division of the High-A Central League. The team’s home games are played in West Michigan’s favorite, largest, outdoor, multi-purpose venue, LMCU Ballpark. For more information visit whitecapsbaseball.com.