Following up on the support the Greater Victoria community has given them over the course of their five seasons, the Victoria HarbourCats are reaching out to return the favour.
The establishment of the HarbourCats Foundation aims to make it so more families and children can participate in baseball and softball around the region.
“The foundation will support baseball and softball efforts across the Greater Victoria area by helping make these two sports more affordable for all children,” said foundation president Richard Michaels in a release.
The goal is to provide funding to leagues for everything from equipment to registration fee support, and to organizations such as KidSport, which help local children and families cover the cost of signing up for baseball and softball associations in Greater Victoria.
“We don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel. We know there’s some good [organizations] out there, KidSport already does that funding and they have the mechanics to do that,” said Kelly Mann, treasurer for the new foundation.
For leagues that may be struggling for membership, he added, “if we can provide them with 500 baseballs, that takes the burden off them and they can spend that money elsewhere.”
The HarbourCats are partnering with the Victoria Foundation to streamline the donation process as a way to develop seed money, Mann said. Potential donors can visit harbourcats.com/foundation, where all funds collected will be passed along to support the new group’s mandate. Tax receipts are available and donors can remain anonymous if they desire.
Other foundation board members are vice-president Fraser Campbell, secretary John Pollard and advisor Gary Beyer. Donations can also be made by contacting any board members directly.
Mann called the establishment of the HarbourCats Foundation “a great opportunity to invest in baseball and softball” in the Victoria area. “We don’t have a HarbourCats team if we don’t have grassroots baseball to begin with … We need to plant the seeds now and the foundation is going to do great things to support that.”