Community Impact: In-Game
Off-The-Back Jersey Auctions
The Flying Squirrels generated over $5,000 during the 2012 season through three off-the back jersey auctions that benefited American Cancer Society, Sportable, and Ronald McDonald Charities of Richmond. Fans enjoyed seeing the team wear the themed jerseys and had the chance to bid on their own through the auctions, both silent and live. At the conclusion of each game, fans were brought onto the field to receive their jersey, take photos, and get players' autographs.
DAD's Day Event - Benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
The Richmond Flying Squirrels partnered with Sports Radio 910am and on-air host Wes McElroy on June 15th for DAD's Day (Dollars against Diabetes). Proceeds from the weeklong effort benefited the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This year the Flying Squirrels raised over $7,000, tripled the amount raised in 2010! Fans could purchase acorn cutouts for $1 that were displayed around the ballpark, purchase a "Yo McElroy" DAD's Day t-shirt for $10, or donate online to a silent auction with great Squirrels items! JDRF families attended the game as a final celebration of the weeks fundraising.
Peanut Butter Drive - Benefited Feed More and Central Virginia Food Bank
The Flying Squirrels partnered with the Virginia Peanut Farmers for Tribute to the Peanut Night again this year to raise awareness about Virginia peanuts and the need for peanut butter at the Central Virginia Food Bank. Squirrels fans collected 296 pounds of peanut butter! Fans were also entertained by Peanuts characters Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Lucy as well as peanut mascots from the Virginia Peanut Festival.
Community Organizations Concourse Table Exhibits
Over 400 community organizations participated in the Flying Squirrels concourse tabling program in 2012. Featured organizations included business partners, non-profits, fundraiser groups, clubs, civic organizations and scouts. Participants showcased their products, services and initiatives to fans throughout the course of the season.
Community Impact: Outside the Game
The Flying Squirrels celebrated their first Squirreloween event on Sunday October 30th 2011 with almost 4,000 guests in attendance over a four-hour time span! Nutzy's Halloween party included trick or treating through the suites, face painting, local mascots, costume contests, a petting zoo, hayrides and much more!
Ballpark Warming Party - Benefited Puritan Cleaners' Coats for Kids
The Richmond Flying Squirrels and Puritan Cleaners collected over 1,000 coats during a four-hour period on Saturday November 19th as part of the Third Annual Ballpark Warming Party and Coats for Kids Drive. The event included live music, sampling of new concessions items, and much more. All fans who donated coats received raffle tickets and were eligible to enter a free raffle with unique items and experiences.
Holiday Party - Benefited Toys for Tots
The Richmond Flying Squirrels' Third Annual Toys for Tots Holiday Party was held on December 10th as fans donated new unwrapped toys to the United States Marine Corps's Toys for Tots campaign. Attendees were rewarded for their generosity by entering a raffle for one-of-a-kind ballpark experiences and items. The party was also highlighted by a pancake breakfast with Nutzy Claus and Santa Claus, appearances from "Parney the Elf", photos with Nutzy and Santa, and much more.
Annual Hot Stove Banquet - Benefited Second Chance Learning Center
On February 1st, the Richmond Flying Squirrels held their second annual Hot Stove Banquet at VCU's Siegel Center. The event was full of baseball celebrities, including Bill Buckner, Billy Wagner, Johnny Grubb, Vida Blue, Minor League Baseball President Pat O'Connor, Squirrels Manager Dave Machemer, Squirrels Pitching Coach Ross Grimsley, and former Squirrels player Daryl Maday. The star-studded evening benefited Billy Wagner's charity, the Second Chance Learning Center, raising $12,000 for the tutoring center in southwestern Virginia.
Thomas Jefferson High School Field Renovation
The Flying Squirrels Field Operations staff conducted a full renovation of the baseball field at Thomas Jefferson High School, located in the City of Richmond public school district. The team added dirt and graded the infield for proper drainage. They also lowered and installed a new home plate, donated five hand-held field drags, and removed a tree stump from the outfield.
St. Paul's Baptist Church and Metropolitan Junior Baseball League
On Sunday, August 5th, The Diamond played host to St. Paul's Baptist Church (SPBC) and the Richmond Metropolitan Youth Baseball League (MJBL). There were over 3,000 members of SPBC in attendance at the church service, which featured activities for members young and old, including a blood drive, a radio station live broadcast, and a live band on and off the field.
Following the service, the MJBL held the championship games of their Inner City Classic tournament at The Diamond, providing a unique and inspiring venue for the young players.
The Flying Squirrels partnered with the Autism Society of Central Virginia to host Camp Warrior at the ballpark on Saturday, September 1st. The camp provided children with autism the unique chance to learn about baseball from Flying Squirrels players in a friendly setting.
Speakers, Mascots & Player Appearances
The Flying Squirrels mascots and staff made over 500 community appearances in 2012 ranging from schools to festivals and nonprofit organizations. The Flying Squirrels players participated in nearly 100 hours of community service including appearances at schools and camps. Nutzy, Parker, and the front office staff made over 400 local appearances in 2012. Staff members conducted speaking engagements to civic organizations, sports marketing classes, DECA classes, career days, AMA events and churches.