‘CATS IN THE COMMUNITY “Giving back to our fans, for life!” ‘Cats Care is the charitable arm of the ValleyCats that oversees the club’s mission to be a positive member of the community. The ValleyCats remain active year-round, striving to give back in a multitude of ways. Whether through their partnerships with charitable organizations, or the volunteer efforts of the front office staff, players and coaches, the ValleyCats organization recognizes and embraces their responsibility to make a difference in the Capital Region. They are annually one of the top teams in the New York- Penn League in regards to community contributions – both in goods, services, and time donated, as well as funds raised in stadium. COMMUNITY OUTREACH The ValleyCats make 175+ community and fundraiser appearances each year, many including the most recognizable mascot in the Capital Region – SouthPaw! In 2017, the ValleyCats donated goods, services, and financial support to over 460 events. The ‘Cats also visited and hosted over 30 schools and libraries with the NY’s 529 Summer Reading Program. All combined, the ValleyCats contributions and fundraising efforts totaled over $500,000 in support! In-stadium fundraisers included charity takeover nights in support of Make-A-Wish of Northeast NY, the MS Society of Upstate New York, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region, and the Salvation Army. Each night featured a specialty themed jersey auction/raffle, providing an enhancement to the nightly theme while raising funds and awareness for great causes. These unique designs included a “30 Years of Wishes” jersey, Tri-City SmellyCats jerseys based on the hit TV show ”Friends,” Harry Potter jerseys, and a Christmas in July themed jersey. Other in-stadium fundraisers included the Rensselaer County Relay for Life, Make-A-Wish Walk for Wishes, MS Walk, Capital Region Series corporate baseball tournament, Battle of the Badges softball tournament, Friday Night Lights high school baseball, and numerous group ticket fundraisers. Additionally, the ValleyCats launched a Hurricane Harvey relief effort, donating a portion of their ticket sales to the American Red Cross to assist those affected by the catastrophic disaster in Texas. The total amount raised was over $7,000! COMMUNITY GROUNDS CREW One of the ValleyCats most important initiatives is to assist local youth leagues with maintenance and upkeep of their fields throughout the spring and summer. That’s where the Community Grounds Crew comes in. Comprised of the ValleyCats and their corporate partners, the mission is to provide the youth of the Capital Region with a safe place to play, learn, grow, and most importantly have fun. Each April, volunteers help to rebuild four youth ball fields in a 24 hour time frame as part of the ‘4 in 24’ Renovation Project. Since 2002, the ‘Cats have revamped over 40 fields!
‘CATS IN THE COMMUNITY your ticket to fun! VALLEYCATS COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION Education is a big focus for the ValleyCats. Each summer, local students are given an unofficial start to summer during Education Day at “The Joe” in June. Over 25 schools and 4,000+ students attend a day of learning by covering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) in an interactive pregame program. The program includes fun activities that relate to the game of baseball, while demonstrating their real world applications. Children also receive a dose of character development by taking an anti-bullying peace pledge before the game. A special curriculum has been created for local schools to download and use as a precursor to the event. Several local organizations have helped support these field trips for local schools by underwriting tickets for them to attend. As part of their anti-bullying campaign, the ValleyCats have performed mascot skits at local schools and camps to encourage children to treat one another with respect. The ‘Cats recognize the importance of reading, and throughout the year the front office, SouthPaw, and members of the team will attend local libraries and schools to read to their young fans. In addition, prior to each Sunday home game, ValleyCats players read to the kids during their Sunday Summer Reading program, who each go home with a copy of the book! BASEBALL CAMPS & CLINICS HEALTHY LIVING The ‘Cats recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle for their team, staff, and fans, from the food we eat and activities we participate in, to taking care of our community. A few ways the ‘Cats promote a healthy lifestyle around the park includes offering healthy meals and snacks at select kiosks, hosting a Going Green and Healthy Living Night, a Father’s Day 5k to encourage everyone to remain active, Sunday Fundays in which children can play catch on the field prior to the game and run the bases afterwards, and much more! Part of the ValleyCats’ mission as Capital Region’s professional baseball team is to act as a steward for the game. To encourage kids to get involved in baseball and learn the skills required to play the game, the ValleyCats host multiple camps and clinics throughout the summer. The camps focus on everything from fun-filled fitness activities, to more specific instruction from players and coaches. The ValleyCats have partnered with multiple businesses to provide clinics to specific groups of children at no cost.