The first-ever Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby to benefit the Bandit Scholars Program has been rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 21. Registration is due by Friday, Sept. 19. The event will give fans and people across the Quad Cities region the chance to swing for the fences at Modern Woodmen Park.
Presented by Modern Woodmen of America and Triumph Community Bank, the Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby will include a Minors Division, with participants from Tee Ball through age 17, and a Majors Division, including all ages at a competitive level. Registration will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21. The Minors Division event will take place at 11 a.m., and the Majors Division event will be at 2 p.m. that day. Participants receive a free River Bandits T-shirt and a ticket to a 2015 River Bandits game. Non-participants are welcome to catch balls in the outfield of Modern Woodmen Park during the derby.
"The Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby offers a great opportunity for people in the Quad Cities to show off their skills and enjoy a unique and memorable experience on the field of Modern Woodmen Park," said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. "The best part is all of the money raised at this unique event will help pay the college tuition for Quad Cities area students - perhaps in the future including one of the young participants in this first-ever Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby!"
The Minors Division will have three competitions - Single A (players in Tee Ball through levels under age 10), Double A (ages 10 to 12), and Triple A (ages 13 to 17). The top three winners in each division will receive prizes. Registration is $20 per participant, and each hitter can choose to hit baseballs or softballs. The registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 19.
Majors Division will include all ages at a competitive level, hitting softball pitches. The winner will receive $200 cash and a 2015 suite rental as prizes. Registration is $30 per participant and limited to the first 50 who register. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 19.
All fans are welcome to catch balls in the outfield during the derby. Non-participants for the home run derby are asked to make a $5 donation to the Bandit Scholars Program.
The Batting for Scholars Home Run Derby registration form is available at Modern Woodmen Park and at www.riverbandits.com. More information is available by contacting Brittany Carter at 563-333-2736 or emailing Brittany@riverbandits.com.
The Bandit Scholars Program was founded in 2009 by the Quad Cities River Bandits' team owners Dave Heller and Bob Herrfeldt; the program pays the entire first year of college tuition for Quad Cities area students through the Bandit Scholarships. The scholarships are administered by the non-profit Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, and recipients are selected by a committee made up of River Bandits' staff, CFGRB volunteers and area community leaders. Awarded annually to Quad Cities area high school seniors, each scholarship includes a summer internship with the River Bandits following the winner's first year of college. Tax-free donations to the scholarship fund can be made through the CFGRB web site.
The scholarships are funded by fan donations and fund-raising efforts by the River Bandits and the team's ownership. Fundraising events include the annual Frost Fest, Bandits Race to Home 5K and Bandit Scholars Home Run Derby, set for July 26-27 this season. Through the partnership with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend, donors can make online, tax-deductible donations to the Bandit Scholars Program by going to www.cfgrb.org. Fans can also visit the Bandit Scholars Program page on the team's website, www.riverbandits.com, and follow a link to the Bandit Scholars page on the Foundation's website. Beginning with the next scholarship application cycle in 2015, students from eight Quad Cities-area counties - Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside Counties of Illinois, and Cedar, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott Counties of Iowa - will be eligible for the scholarships.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership recently made one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 105 feet over the playing field, opened May 24, and Space Camp opened June 20; the newly expanded 300-foot long zip line has also reopened. Soon to come is another new ride, this one called a "Drop and Twist." In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. Last season, the team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.