Shortly after the Beeghly campus opened in 2008, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley stepped into the batter’s box, looking to hit a grand slam with its first athletic partnership.
And they did with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a short-season Class A minor league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians based in Niles.
Now in its 10th season, coinciding with the 10-year Beeghly campus anniversary, the partnership continues to make an impact throughout the region.
“We want to be a good community partner,” said JoAnn Stock, senior director of development, Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. “The Scrappers are family-friendly and draw from all throughout the Mahoning Valley and Western Pennsylvania, so it helps with name recognition and communicating the services we offer.
“Plus, what we also really like is the fundraising component this partnership allows. The Scrappers’ management team is very creative, and they’ve collaborated with us on several successful ideas for raising money for the hospital.”
Fundraising highlights throughout the 10-year relationship include:
- Scrappers’ game jerseys designed by area children, and then auctioned off at the game
- Cleveland Indians memorabilia silent auctions
- Akron Children’s staff and volunteer gate collections at certain games
- Patient visits from Scrappers players and mascot Scrappy
- School day games with the Youngstown State University baseball team
- Donation of proceeds from ColorBurst 5K run at the stadium
“Over the years, we have worked closely with Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley to create a partnership that focuses on community reach as well as fundraising opportunities,” said Jordan Taylor, general manager, Mahoning Valley Scrappers. “Each offseason, we meet to discuss the hospital’s goals and see how we can craft a sponsorship to meet their expectations. I have enjoyed working with a great organization that provides so much for our community.”
Success from the Scrappers’ partnership has also led into other sports-related partnerships with the Youngstown Phantoms and YSU Athletics.