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Trash Pandas Foundation hits home run for nonprofits

MADISON – In just its first year, the Rocket City Trash Pandas Foundation raised more than $150,000 in donations for nonprofit organizations in North Alabama and the Tennessee Valley.

The foundation, the 501(c)3 charitable arm of the Minor League Baseball Trash Pandas, was incorporated before the 2022 baseball season. It is dedicated to educating and promoting healthy lifestyles through sport and to positively impact communities in the region, the team announced in a news release.

The donations were fueled by fundraising events, including game-worn jersey auctions, community clubhouse sales, youth camps, and the Trash Pandas Food & Beverage Volunteer Program.

CLICK HERE to view the full 2022 Rocket City Trash Pandas Community Impact Report.

Highlights from 2022 include:

  • Six specialty game-worn jersey auctions featuring jerseys worn by Trash Pandas players and coaches during select home games. After the game, jerseys were auctioned with proceeds going to local nonprofits that raised more than $100,000 throughout the season. 2022 jersey auctions included Space Night, “Star Wars” Night, Armed Forces Night, Patriotic Jerseys for Independence Day, “Marvel Defenders of the Diamond” Night, and Huntsville Stars Throwback Night.
  • The Trash Pandas Food and Beverage Volunteer Program allowed organizations to assist in operating concession stands during games. Each volunteer was paid hourly with profits going to their organization, which collected more than $57,000.
  • The Trash Pandas Foundation hosted two Community Clubhouse Sales in 2022, offering a variety of autographed and game-used memorabilia to fund in a garage sale fashion. Items included autographed cards, mystery autographed baseballs, broken bats, game-worn hats, limited-edition specialty jerseys, and more. These sales raised more than $21,000 for the foundation.
  • Trash Pandas players took part in a Youth Instructional Camp where more than 100 children ages 7-10 learned baseball fundamentals. Players also embraced the North Alabama community, making appearances at the St. Jude’s Clinic and Pediatric Wing at Huntsville Hospital, Volunteering with Rock, Steady, Boxing’s Senior Class, and reading to students at local schools.
  • During each Wednesday home game, fans were invited to bring their four-legged friends to Toyota Field for Dog Day, with a $1 donation per dog going to an animal-related non-profit. Throughout 10 Dog Days, some $700 was collected.
  • Sprocket made dozens of appearances at special events such as school visits, Little League opening days, a Huntsville Havoc game, and even a trip to Los Angeles.
  • Throughout the year, Toyota Field also hosted school groups ranging from elementary to college for behind-the-scenes tours of Toyota Field with stops including the press box, clubhouses, the field, and luxury suites.

The Rocket City Trash Pandas Foundation is led by Director of Community Relations, Maddison Kendrick. She has been with the team since 2020 following three years leading community relations for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

To learn more about the foundation and get involved, CLICK HERE.

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