Baseballtown Charities would like to thank Wells Fargo's Community Connections Giving Program for their donation of $1,000.
Through the program, Wells Fargo's retail banking stores explore the needs of their local communities and select a nonprofit organization to receive a grant. This year, Wells Fargo will award close to $300,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations and schools across Pennsylvania.
The grants are part of the company's broader support of its communities. In 2013, Wells Fargo invested more than $14 million in nonprofit organizations and schools and team members volunteered more than 46,000 hours throughout Pennsylvania.
Baseballtown Charities, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) entity, was founded in 2002 in association with the Reading Fightin Phils in order to keep baseball alive in Reading through charitable donations to underprivileged youth who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to play baseball. The organization also pays tribute to Reading's rich baseball history.
Since its inception in 2002, the Baseballtown trademark has played a necessary part in the baseball community of Berks County. Under the Baseballtown namesake, FirstEnergy Stadium has played host to the High School All-Star Game and the Olivet's Boy's and Girl's Club Championship. Each year, the organization crowns the King or Queen of Baseballtown to honor the past by recognizing that individual's accomplishments and contributions to baseball/softball.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment the organization has overtaken was the construction of Gordon Hoodak Stadium at Lauer's Park in 2006. Through contributions exceeding $900,000, the youth ballpark was built in a neighborhood that is quickly returning to its glory days. It sits on the grounds of Lauer's Park Elementary School, named for the former stadium where Babe Ruth and Shoeless Joe Jackson both played. The original housed several professional teams and hosted barnstorming tours from 1907-1941. Reading's own baseball legend, the late "Broadway" Charlie Wagner, former Red Sox pitcher and roommate Ted Williams, began his career there.