Five local high schools are benefiting from a partnership of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.
Ten teams from Holmes, Bellevue, Dayton, Holy Cross, and Newport High Schools received $15,000 worth of baseball and softball equipment during an event at Town & Country Athletic Center in Wilder.
Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart joined representatives from St. Elizabeth and the Reds organization to distribute the equipment to athletic directors, head coaches, and athletes from the schools.
“We’re excited to be able to bring much needed equipment to these programs in time for the 2017 high school season,” said Charley Frank, executive director of the Reds Community Fund. “Our collaboration with St. Elizabeth is one example of how community leaders across the Tri-State can use athletics to make a difference in the lives of young people.”
St. Elizabeth matched a $7,500 contribution from the Reds Community Fund to help the schools through Pitch In For Baseball, a nonprofit organization and industry leader in collecting and repurposing baseball and softball equipment. Each school received an equal share of $15,000 worth of equipment.
“Giving back to the community and our local high school partners is a priority to us,” said Bruno Giacomuzzi, chief operating officer at St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s Florence and Ft. Thomas locations. “Our team of athletic trainers, physical therapists and medical staff ensure that our local student-athletes are physically ready for competition. We hope this updated equipment will help these young athletes prepare to achieve their on-field goals this season as well.”
To date, more than 30 fields in Northern Kentucky have been renovated by the Reds Community Fund, including Meinken All-Star Field in Covington, which serves as the home field for Holmes and Holy Cross baseball teams. Meinken Field was the ninth and final field dedicated during the $8 million MLB All-Star Week Community Legacy Projects when Cincinnati hosted baseball’s Midsummer Classic in 2015.
St. Elizabeth has been providing athletic training coverage to the Northern Kentucky athletic community since 1988. The healthcare system currently serves the athletic training needs of Northern Kentucky University and Thomas More College along with 22 high schools, nine middle schools and four club programs in Northern Kentucky.
“Our coaching staffs and players are thankful for community partners like St. Elizabeth and the Reds,” said Pat Ryan, head baseball coach at Holy Cross. “Without donations like this, many of our area schools wouldn’t be properly equipped for the upcoming season. It’s a blessing to have this level of public support.”
St. Elizabeth and the Reds will continue to partner on community events and initiatives throughout the 2017 season, including Senior Citizen Specials and NKY Night featuring an Adam Duvall bobblehead on May 20 at Great American Ball Park.