Round Up: Gades hit home run in community in 2022
Wappingers Falls, N.Y. – One of the core tenets of the Hudson Valley Renegades mission is to be more than just a baseball team that provides affordable family fun, but to also be a community asset that makes an impact on lives throughout our community. In 2022, the award-winning Renegades
Wappingers Falls, N.Y. – One of the core tenets of the Hudson Valley Renegades mission is to be more than just a baseball team that provides affordable family fun, but to also be a community asset that makes an impact on lives throughout our community.
In 2022, the award-winning Renegades Community Program saw the implementation of seven new programs touching thousands of lives throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley, as well as the return and expansion of several other popular initiatives.
Veteran of the Game presented by AARP New York
One of the most popular new initiatives in 2022 was the Veteran of the Game program presented by AARP New York. From July through September, the Renegades and AARP New York recognized 32 local veterans with a special between-inning ceremony during games. The veteran was presented with a special Hudson Valley Veterans jersey and received a standing ovation from the crowd. The program was such a success that the Renegades received an award of recognition from the New York State Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Sensory Safe Suite presented by Curemark, LLC
Brand new to Dutchess Stadium this year was the Curemark Sensory Safe Suite. Suite Eight at the ballpark was redesigned as a fun, accommodating, and functional space for families with children on the autism spectrum and with special needs to help better enjoy the game. The Curemark Sensory Safe Suite has features that provide a comforting, relaxing, and less-stimulating space for guests to experience a Renegades game. This allows guests in the suite to decompress and enjoy baseball with their family away from the louder, hectic and often over-stimulating environment in other areas of the ballpark. More than 50 local families and five organizations used the suite during the 2022 season.
Teddy Bear Toss
The Renegades hosted their inaugural Teddy Bear Toss at The Dutch this summer, during which 1,365 stuffed animals were collected and donated to the Cuddles from Cassidy Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a Westchester County-based organization which provides comfort and joy to children battling life-threatening illnesses by providing cuddles (care packages with stuffed animals, toys, and tokens of love) to put smiles on their faces. Learn more about them at www.cuddlesfromcassidy.org.
World Wish Day Reveal
Every year, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, along with other chapters and affiliates worldwide, celebrate World Wish day on April 29, the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, giving them the emotional and physical strength needed to fight their medical condition. Since 1980, Major League Baseball and its Clubs have worked with Make-A-Wish to grant wishes for children, donate tickets, and raise money for local chapters.
In 2022, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley granted wish kid Bryan’s wish to attend the MLB All-Star Game, with the announcement being made at Dutchess Stadium during a Renegades game. His wish was revealed to him on the videoboard in a video recorded by Renegades players, and he went on to attend the 2022 MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
HOPE Week presented by Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth)
For the first time in 2022, the Renegades were able to participate in the Yankees popular and award-winning HOPE Week initiative (Helping Others Persevere & Excel). Founded in 2009, HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture. For one week in June, the Renegades engaged in service at different community organizations, including the Community at Brookmeade, Liberty Station, and the Fishkill Food Pantry. They also hosted their annual D3 Day (Disability, Dream & Do) at the ballpark during HOPE Week. As part of their partnership with the Renegades, the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) served as the presenting sponsor for all the Gades activities.
We Care Wednesday presented by WMCHealth
A weekly promotion occurring on every Wednesday home game throughout the 2022 season, the Renegades were able to highlight 11 different local non-profit organizations at the ballpark throughout the season. The organizations were assisted in their marketing and fundraising efforts through the We Care Wednesday program as well.
Hope At Bat Game
The Renegades participated in MLB’s Hope At Bat campaign this season, auctioning off a one-of-a-kind team-autographed purple bat, with proceeds going toward Gold Together, the American Cancer Society’s initiative dedicated to increasing awareness of childhood cancer, supporting families facing a diagnosis, and raising funds to end childhood cancer. In addition to the bat auction, the Renegades Team Store featured special Gold Together merchandise.
Through their ticket fundraiser program, the Renegades helped local organizations raise over $17,000 at no cost and with no risk to the organization.
Other Community Engagement
Outside of all of these programs, the Renegades have stayed active in the community, with Rascal making appearances at more than 50 community events from April through October. The Gades front office staff also partnered with Fearless! on their Adopt-A-Family program for the holidays, and has been volunteering at the Dutchess Outreach Lunch Box Program throughout the offseason.
This was just a small selection of the work done by the Renegades Community Program in 2022. We look forward to continuing these initiatives in 2023, as well as the announcement of several new programs in the coming weeks.