Oftentimes, the Lowell Spinners choose to be involved in activities as silent partners. It is important for us to support various causes in the area while keeping a modest profile. There are, however, a few causes with which we promote our involvement. On a personal level, our Front Office members volunteer time in causes including the Lowell General Hospital Cancer Walk, Special Olympics, the Boys and Girls Club, and Cystic Fibrosis/Cerebral Palsy Research.
Also, the Spinners have made substantial inroads raising funds for the Joann Weber Charitable Fund, founded in 2007 by Spinners owner Drew Weber in memory of his wife after a courageous three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Historically the organization has had a number of different charitable partnerships, beginning in 1998 with the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce and their annual scholarship awards. Thousands of dollars are given away and the winners were announced at a special pre-game ceremony at LeLacheur Park.
In 1999 the concept of "Spinners Charities" was born, becoming a vital mechanism for the organization to quietly donate funds to worthy causes in our community while keeping a low profile. When you attend a Spinners game, you'll hear birthday announcements and special welcomes. For each fan-requested announcement, $10 is donated towards Spinners Charities, money which goes directly back into the Merrimack Valley community.
Beginning in 2002, the Spinners began to focus their efforts on one specific charity each summer, with a goal of raising both public awareness and funding. After an extensive interview process, we narrow our choices to causes we felt we would be able to develop the strongest partnership with and make the most local impact. Over the next five years the organization partnered with Kids in Disability Sports, the Cystinosis Research Network, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Challenge Unlimited at Ironstone Farm and the Winter Warmth Project.
In 2007, the Spinners selected the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, to honor Joann Weber, our courageous co-owner, who was by most accounts the heart and soul of the team, who lost a three-year battle with the disease in late 2006. The team raised over $29,000.
Since the 2008 season the Spinners have changed their approach, partnering directly with the a cause near and dear to the hearts of the entire Spinners family: the Joann Weber Charitable Fund. Throughout the season the organization raises funds through a series of 50/50 raffles, jersey auctions and a raffle for a Caribbean Cruise before our annual Alumni Dinner to cap off the year's fundraising.
Furthermore the second annual Lowell Spinners raised over $10,000 for charities and rewarded fans with prizes including $2,000 in cold, hard cash and a Royal Caribbean Cruise. Organizations sold tickets at $10/per ticket throughout the year with organizations collecting $5 and $5 going to Lowell Spinners Charities.
From Autism Awareness Night with The G-Man Foundation and hosting the Merrimack Valley March of Dimes "March for Babies" prior to a home game, the Spinners are consistently looking to stay involved with charitable organizations.
The 2014 season included over $100,000 in donations to organizations throughout the Merrimack Valley, including a number of partnerships at games throughout the season. The year was capped officially in 2015, with the annual Hot Stove Dinner featuring Trot Nixon Janaury 17, which raised $25,000 for Spinners Charities.
With the off-season upon us, the Spinners are still active in the community, as Canaligator will visit dozens of charitable events in the coming months as we count down the days to Opening Day 2017!
For assistance with your community event, contact Kristin Kinchla at [email protected] for more information on how the Spinners can get involved.