With another season of Emeralds baseball now officially in the rear-view mirror, we're taking a look back at some of the special moments and memories created during the 2019 season. Today, we reflect on all the good that the Emeralds imparted throughout the Eugene/Springfield community.
Over the past decade, the Ems have made a concerted effort to ingrain the organization within the fabric of Eugene/Springfield through countless community efforts and initiatives. With almost too many donations, drives and events to keep track of, let's go by the numbers to see exactly how the Emeralds made a positive impact in Lane County during the past season.
$7,451: Dollars raised to benefit local nonprofits through Good Karma Monday.
Good Karma Monday, presented by Yogi, is a weekly ticket promotion created in recent years with the goal of supporting local nonprofit organizations and initiatives. During every Good Karma Monday throughout the 2019 season, fans were able to purchase discounted box seat tickets ($10) with 50% of ticket sales directly benefitting a local nonprofit organization. All told, the Ems raised a combined $7,451 that together benefitted the Pearl Buck Center, Relief Nursery, A Family For Every Child, and Womenspace.
7: Community focus nights.
The Ems aim to use their influence to shine light on causes and efforts that are near and dear to the organization. During the 2019 season, a total of seven (7) different home games were used to highlight important (local) causes, efforts, and personalities: PRIDE, Climate Change, First Responders Appreciation, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), League Of Her Own (Lois Youngen - former AAGPBL Player), Suicide Prevention, and Military Appreciation.
5: Community events.
Even when there aren't ballgames happening at PK Park, the Emeralds are often still playing their part in helping support the local community. All told, the Emeralds hosted five (5) separate non-gameday events during the 2019 season to support local nonprofits and organizations: American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, Eugene Police's National Night Out, Eugene Food Truck Fest benefitting Eugene Mission, Wham Bam Kendall Jam Car Show benefitting Relief Nursery, and the Boys and Girls Club's Field of Dreams.
$3,500: Dollars raised through specialty jersey sales during the 2019 season.
Every year, the Emeralds front office collaborates to design one-of-a-kind, specialty jerseys to be worn on a select night during the season. During each specialty jersey game, fans in attendance can bid on the game-worn jerseys via a silent auction, and the auction winners receive their jersey directly from the corresponding player immediately following the game.
Below, you can find the corresponding nonprofit beneficiary for each specialty jersey worn by the Ems this past season.
PRIDE - HIV Alliance
Climate Change - Our Children's Trust
Star Wars - Children's Miracle Network
Black Panther - Ems Community Fund
3: Collection drives hosted to benefit nonprofit organizations.
The Emeralds hosted three separate community collection drives during the past season: a book drive benefitting United Way, a cat/dog items drive benefitting Greenhill Humane Society, and a new socks/underwear drive benefitting Eugene Mission.
6,500: Tickets donated to local elementary school students and teachers through Sluggo's Home Run Reading Challenge, presented by Oregon Medical Group and Wildish.
Year after year, Sluggo and the Emeralds staff spend the spring visiting countless Lane County schools in an effort to encourage reading among children. Participating schools and teachers decide on a reasonable reading goal for their students' respective reading levels. Once the individual goal is reached by a student, they automatically receive two free tickets to one of the Emeralds Reading Program Redemption games.
This year, the Emeralds hosted a total of eleven (11) Reading Program Nights with more than 6,500 total tickets donated to local elementary school students and teachers.
6: Monarcas games at PK Park this past season.
Starting in 2018, the Emeralds proudly joined "Copa de la Diversión," or "Fun Cup," a season-long event series specifically designed to embrace the culture and values that resonate most with participating teams' local U.S. Hispanic/Latino communities. As such, the Emeralds created their own unique identity as Los Monarcas de Eugene, using the Monarch butterfly as a subtle and beautiful symbol for the migrant community. Every Sunday home game, the Emeralds transformed into los Monarcas by donning specially designed uniforms while also incorporating Latin-themed food, music, and decorations all throughout PK Park.
$6,850: Dollars raised through the 50/50 raffle for Eugene Little League and Boys & Girls Club.
25: Emeralds player outings and efforts within the community totaling more than 175 hours of volunteer work.
5: Days Emeralds players hosted baseball clinics during the season.
1: Guide dogs that the Emeralds helped train this season.
Last but not least, fans at PK Park likely noticed a new four-legged friend roaming the concourse during the 2019 season. Vegas, the Emeralds service dog in-training, joined the organization earlier this year under the direction of Anne Culhane, the team's Director of Community Relations. Since his arrival, Vegas has been a (rapidly growing) staple at the Ems office and at PK Park, and thanks to Culhane's guidance he's also continued to take major steps towards his goal of one day becoming a service dog.
To learn more about The Joys of Living Assistance Dogs visit joydogs.org.
Stay up to date with the Emeralds by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.