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Former and Current Owners of the Visalia Rawhide Baseball Club Team up to Donate $250,000 to the Visalia and Tulare County Community

September 14, 2020

VISALIA, CA- The former and current owners of the Visalia Rawhide have jointly contributed $250,000 to establish the Visalia Rawhide Charitable Fund at the Central Valley Community Foundation to serve the community where Visalia Rawhide fans live, work and play. “The Visalia community provided great support over our 18 years

VISALIA, CA- The former and current owners of the Visalia Rawhide have jointly contributed $250,000 to establish the Visalia Rawhide Charitable Fund at the Central Valley Community Foundation to serve the community where Visalia Rawhide fans live, work and play.

“The Visalia community provided great support over our 18 years with the Rawhide ballclub,” said Tom Seidler, former Rawhide co-owner and President of Top of the Third, Inc. “We are excited to have the opportunity to give back to the community during this time of great need, in partnership with the Rawhide and the Sigal family. I can't think of a better way to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Rawhide championship than this effort to help many families in need through these two grants.”

To support families with childcare costs, food, distance learning supplies, and other essential services, an initial grant from the new fund of $50,000 has been donated to First 5 which supports six family resource centers, including the Visalia Family Resource Center. During the COVID pandemic, family resource centers in Tulare County are experiencing, on average, a 50% increase in the number of calls for assistance, many from families that have never sought help before.

A second $50,000 grant will help fund The Healthy Harvest Program in Tulare County. The local ag industry is essential and has continued the food production we all rely upon. This new program expands messaging to the Valley’s food production industry about coronavirus safety. It will provide access to testing, house workers who need to self-isolate and provide food and transportation to make quarantine possible. These are essential steps to stop the spread of the virus throughout the community.

“It takes all of us coming together to make a difference in this national crisis”, said Sam Sigal, current co-owner of the Rawhide and Vice President of First Pitch Entertainment, LLC. “ The Healthy Harvest Program is a partnership that brings together state, federal, industry, and philanthropic dollars.” Among the agencies that support The Healthy Harvest Program are the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Tulare County, and the Tulare Farm Bureau.

“It is an honor to team up with the Central Valley Community Foundation, The Family Resource Centers, and the Healthy Harvest Program, said Sam. “Although professional baseball is in a pause due to the pandemic, we look forward to many enjoyable seasons in the years ahead. For now, the health of the people of Visalia and the surrounding area is our focus.”

In April, at the beginning of the pandemic, the Sigal family donated over $30,000 to support Central Valley non-profits. In collaboration with the Central Valley Community Foundation, support was directed to emergency relief funds, food bank distribution efforts and local hospitals.

“The Visalia Rawhide has been an iconic presence in Tulare County by tipping its hat to the Ag industry that propels our community. And by stepping up to help financially support our Healthy Harvest program, the Community Care Coalition in Tulare County can bring much needed supportive services to our farmworkers and their families affected by COVID-19,” said Coalition Co-Chairs Rosemary Caso, Executive Director of United Way Tulare County and Francena Martinez, Division Manager, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency. “We applaud their efforts in making sure this critical program is available to those that need it.”

For more information about the efforts of the Central Valley Community Foundation in the fight against the Coronavirus, contact Hannah McAbee ([email protected])

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The Visalia Rawhide are a professional baseball team in the Class A Advanced California League and are the only professional sports team in Tulare and Kings counties. The team has been an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2007 and will be celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Minor League Baseball in Visalia in 2021. The Rawhide look to continue their reputation for hosting competitive baseball while providing affordable family entertainment and defending the 2019 California League Championship. For more information, please contact the Visalia Rawhide Front Office at 559.732.4433, visit us online at rawhidebaseball.com, or follow us on Facebook (TheRawhide), Instagram (@VisaliaRawhide), and Twitter (@VisaliaRawhide).