Softball Practice!

Action shot of a pitch being thrown during Spring softball practice

Our first softball practice of the year went great this weekend! Thanks to everyone who came out to play! We had a lot of fun taking some batting practice, fielding some infield and outfield, and playing a few mini games. A special thanks to Chris at MoveEvolve Fitness for guiding our group through stretches before we got started!

As a reminder, we’ll be holding slow pitch softball practices every Sunday in March as we get ready for our Spring season, beginning on April 8, 2018! Here are the dates, with a link to our Facebook event for each one:

Practice will be held at our home field at 223 E. Institute Dr, Durham, NC, 27703.

Captain’s Interview: STEM in the Park

Before our inaugural Durham Softball season, we asked our team captains to answer some questions about their organizations so we can help educate our players on their cause and why their work is important for the Durham community. These are their answers!

STEM in the Park

Co-Captain’s Name:
Sarah Windsor

Job / Title with Non-Profit:
Director

Personal Background:
I’m am from the area originally, having gone to NCSU for undergrad and UNC for graduate school. Because I’m from here, I am passionate about lifting up under-served students of the area towards interests and careers in the STEM field. My background as a microbiologist lends itself to cool and gross stories about bacteria!

What is your softball experience level?
Minor league for sure. Sitting this season out because our first kid is due in May!

What does you like most about STEM in the Park?
The mission of STEM in the Park is close to my heart as a local product of Wake and Durham County public schools, two local public universities and as a STEM professional myself.

Please describe STEM in the Park and what they do for the Durham community.
The mission of STEM in the Park is to give students, who are traditionally underserved in the STEM workforce, exposure to STEM activities and mentoring with local STEM professionals. In addition, we aim to develop an effective pipeline of exposure and knowledge of real world STEM applications to educators, as well as equip STEM companies and higher education institutions with tools to establish and grow their own outreach events.

In 2017 alone, we served 209 students and 44 educators with programming through our STEM Expos and Educator Externtrips. Since 2014, we have established over 220 community partnerships, served 6,226 students across NC and engaged 1,467 volunteers in over 13,000 hours of service.

What is a specific project/initiative will a contribution from Durham Softball help?
Contributions from Durham softball will help us extend our services to local teachers to include not only more Educator Externtrips (STEM immersion field trips to local STEM companies) but invest in an educator mentoring program with those same local STEM companies.

Why did STEM in the Park want to join the Durham Softball League?
We love the community of RTP and the region! This is chance to have some fun, sweat a little, and contribute towards 10 local organizations that make a positive impact on our city!

What would STEM in the Park do with a $200 donation from Durham Softball? What would they do with a $1000 donation?
A $200 donation will go towards funding local students to attend one of our STEM Expos that happen twice a year! During this event, students interact with local STEM companies through hands-on demonstrations, develop and pitch a STEM product during STEM Tank and can meet and get to know STEM professionals through Speed Mentoring. If you are a STEM professional, looking to get involved in our work, head to our webpage.

A $1000 donation would go towards the establishment of an educator mentoring program through our Educator Externtrips. This would be a time to extend the learnings of a 3 hour experience at a STEM company to longer term meetings with a local STEM employee to transform classroom teaching!

Other than your own team, what other non-profit in the Durham Softball League would you want to win the championship? Why?
We love our musical buddies over at Kidznotes!

Featured Week Donation Item: Brain Food!

Help fill a “STEM in the Park Bag” at our STEM Expos! During each Expo, STEM in the Park gives all students a large bag to collect STEM materials at the event, store business cards of STEM professionals, and take home finished experiments from a fun-filled day of STEM in Research Triangle Park. These bags come pre-filled with essentials the students will need during the day, including snacks. Our goal is to help STEM in the Park fill their student bags with quick, individual-sized portions of various snack foods to feed their students. All individual-sized bags of pretzels, chips, trail mix, goldfish, peanuts, etc. will be accepted.

During one week of the 2018 season, Durham Softball players will have the chance to donate BRAIN FOOD to STEM in the Park. The team that combines to bring the most bags of brain-food-eligible items to give to STEM students will earn a bonus donation for their team’s sponsor! Points will be awarded per bag and donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game each week.

Thanks for your support!

Weekly Promotions During the Regular Season

All 8 of Our Non-Profit Sponsor Organizations

During each week of the season, we will try to hold weekly promotions that encourage players from all teams to come together and support one of our causes. This will give players a reason to learn about each organization in the league and understand why the work they do is important. We hope the concept will help bring the players from different teams together under the same common goal of helping the Durham community through softball.

To encourage participation and give players another way to help all of the causes in the league, we will host a contest to reward the team that collects the most of a particular item each week. During each promotion, a Prize Pool will be set and the top 2 donating teams will earn a portion of the pool for their charity.

Specific dates are still TBD, but here are the details of the feature weeks we have planned so far:

  • Central Piedmont Community Action
    • Two Clothing Drives – one for Socks and one for Coats – to support the CPCA’s Clothes Closet project. Any pair of socks and any type of coat made for humans will be accepted, regardless of size. Items must be new or lightly used, with no stains/holes/rips/tears.
  • Hope Animal Rescue
    • Dog Toys – Any new or lightly used Dog Toy will be accepted.
  • Meals on Wheels
    • Nutrition Bars – Any low-sodium, healthy breakfast / nutrition / granola bar will be accepted.
  • STEM in the Park
    • Brain Food – All individual-sized bags of pretzels, chips, trail mix, goldfish, peanuts, etc. will be accepted.d.
  • Girls on the Run of the Triangle
    • Colored Pencils / Markers – Any new, unused box of colored markers, or any new or lightly used box of colored pencils, will be accepted.
  • Housing for New Hope
    • Bath Towels – Any new or lightly used bath towels, including hand towels and bath mats, will be accepted.

Donations will be accepted at the field by the umpire until the last out of the last game of the day.

We appreciate your help! We hope this encourages more direct giving and participation so all of our teams can support a sponsor even if they aren’t on their team. Where possible, weeks will be sponsored by other local businesses who support our mission and want to give back to the Durham community.

Captain’s Interview: Meals on Wheels of Durham

Meals on Wheels of Durham

Before our inaugural Durham Softball season, we asked our team captains to answer some questions about their organizations so we can help educate our players on their cause and why their work is important for the Durham community. These are their answers!

Meals on Wheels of Durham

Co-Captain’s Name:
Annette Read & Amia Bullard

Job / Title with Non-Profit:
Community Outreach Director

Personal Background:
Annette Read is the current Community Outreach Director at Meals on Wheels of Durham. She holds a Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Development from Pfeiffer University. She is originally from Rochester, New York, and relocated to Durham in 2001 with her husband and son. Prior to Meals on Wheels she was the Vice President of Human Resources at Qualex, Inc. a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Company and after 30 years of service, retired in the summer of 2011. In her current role, she is responsible for volunteer management, recruiting new volunteers and being out and about in our communities speaking about the Meals on Wheels Program and its mission to enhance the quality of life for seniors, people with disabilities and other citizens in our community who are unable to provide proper nutrition for themselves. She has often used the quote from Confucius that says, “Choose a job that you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” hat’s what she has found at Meals on Wheels.

What is your softball experience level?
I grew up playing softball with kids in my neighborhood every weekend. To this day, it is a very fond memory. I also played in my high school softball league.

What does you like most about Meals on Wheels of Durham?
I love the volunteers that help us daily with packing over 450 meals and delivering 31 routes each weekday throughout Durham County. We couldn’t do it with out them!

Please describe Meals on Wheels of Durham and what they do for the Durham community.
Meals on Wheels of Durham, Inc. is a non-profit agency committed to enhancing the quality of life for eligible home-bound adults in our community. Our mission is to serve the elderly, frail, disabled, convalescing and others who cannot provide proper nutrition for themselves. Dedicated volunteers deliver lunches to our clients each weekday, with the objective of improving the nutritional status and health of these individuals. It is our goal that this combination of nutritious meals and social contact will help our clients to remain independent as long as possible.

What is a specific project/initiative will a contribution from Durham Softball help?
Meals on Wheels of Durham delivers a nutritious meal, a safety check and a smile that serves as a lifeline to seniors of limited mobility. This combination goes well beyond fighting the battle against the hunger that threatens one in six of America’s seniors – it provides the support and peace of mind that enable them to remain safely and securely in their own homes as they continue to age. Enabling seniors to stay in their own homes means they remain happier, extend their independence and can stay connected to the communities and surroundings that provide them comfort. The powerful side effect of this result is that it means seniors can stay out of expensive nursing facilities and hospitals. Contributions from Durham Softball will help to pay for food to feed our senior population. $110 will feed a senior for a month!

Why did Meals on Wheels of Durham want to join the Durham Softball League?
Meals on Wheels Durham likes to partner with other great organizations that are in our community. These partnerships are vital and mutually beneficial. It also allows our volunteers to network and have fun together.

What would Meals on Wheels of Durham do with a $200 donation from Durham Softball? What would they do with a $1000 donation?
Our meals cost $5 so a $200 donation with provide 40 meals to seniors in need and $1000 will allow us to provide 200 meals, which would be AWESOME!

Other than your own team, what other non-profit in the Durham Softball League would you want to win the championship? Why?
We are in great company with the other non-profits in the Durham Softball League. We are honored and proud to participate and will be cheering for everyone.

Featured Week Donation Item: Granola Bars!

Granola Bars are a great way to provide a quick and easy snack for a senior who may have trouble cooking their own meal. Also called Breakfast Bars or Nutrition Bars (eg. Nature Valley, Quaker, Kind, etc.), these bars have a long shelf life and provide lots of nutrition in a simple and easy to eat package.

During one week of the 2018 season, Durham Softball players will have the chance to donate GRANOLA BARS to Meals on Wheels of Durham. The team that combines to bring the most Granola Bars to give to our community’s seniors will earn a bonus donation for their team’s sponsor! Points will be awarded per bar, not per box, and donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game each week. Healthy (especially low-sodium) and “chewy” options, please!

Thanks for your support!

Captain’s Interview: Hope Animal Rescue

Hope Animal Rescue

Before our inaugural Durham Softball season, we asked our team captains to answer some questions about their organizations so we can help educate our players on their cause and why their work is important for the Durham community. These are their answers!

Hope Animal Rescue

Captain’s Name:
Jonah Roby

Job / Title with Non-Profit:
Volunteer

Personal Background:
Born in Fayetteville, NC, I am the husband of the founder/director of Hope Animal Rescue. I do so many jobs within Hope Animal Rescue, from setting up events, to transporting dogs to the vet, home visits and adoptions, and so much more!

What is your softball experience level?
Casual play, nothing remotely professional.

What does you like most about Hope Animal Rescue?
They make a difference to the lives of so many animals, the people who foster, and the families who give them amazing homes!

Please describe Hope Animal Rescue and what they do for the Durham community.
Hope Animal Rescue is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the lives of stray and abandoned pets in North Carolina. We promote compassionate and humane treatment of all animals, regardless of breed or species. We rescue those unlikely to get out of the shelter system alive, and have a heart for the senior dogs and those with medical needs. We are an all volunteer rescue, and all funding goes back to the care of the animals.

What is a specific project/initiative will a contribution from Durham Softball help?
We are starting a community outreach initiative this year, to help residents care for, and hopefully keep their animals. We are working on getting a fund started to assist with medical care, microchipping and spay/neuter.

Why did Hope Animal Rescue want to join the Durham Softball League?
We were approached to participate by someone who knows one of our volunteers. We think it is a great way to have fun outside of the normal ‘job’ of the rescue, bring awareness to what we do, and hopefully meet a lot of wonderful people who share a passion for making a difference.

What would Hope Animal Rescue do with a $200 donation from Durham Softball? What would they do with a $1000 donation?
Either donation would be used for our community outreach fund. That fund will be specific to help people who want to keep their animals, but can’t afford to treat an illness or disease and provide free spay or neuter. We have done this in the past on a smaller scale, but we now have an Outreach Coordinator, whose role will be to focus on making an impact on our community.

Other than your own team, what other non-profit in the Durham Softball League would you want to win the championship? Why?
Meals on Wheels. Their work helps our seniors and home bound citizens. We donate surplus food to them to help people take care of their pets. The organization delivers food for people and their pets – a mission close to our hearts!

Featured Week Donation Item: Dog Toys!

Fido didn’t like the inflatable chicken you bought him? Spike won’t touch that fancy new rope thingy? Petunia thinks she’s too cool for a squeaking tortoise? One of the dogs at Hope Animal Rescue would probably love it!

During one week of the 2018 season, Durham Softball players will have the chance to donate new or lightly used DOG TOYS to Hope Animal Rescue. The team that combines to bring the most Dog Toys to give to the who’s-a-good-boys and girls at Hope Animal Rescue each week will earn a bonus donation for their team’s sponsor! Donations will be accepted at the field until the last out of the last game each week.

Thanks for your support!

End-of-Season Tournaments

At the end of each Regular Season, all teams will play a single-elimination tournament to decide the Playoff Champion. The tournament seeds will be determined based on each team’s performance and win/loss record during the regular season.

The Bottom 4 teams during the regular season will play a Consolation Tournament to decide 5th Place and compete for a 2% bonus for the winner.

  • Game 1: 8th Place @ 5th Place
  • Game 2: 7th Place @ 6th Place
  • Game 3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 for the Consolation Prize

The Top 4 teams during the regular season will play a Championship Tournament to decide 1st Place and play for a chance at a 6% bonus for the winner and a 3% bonus for the runner-up.

  • Game 1: 4th Place @ 1st Place
  • Game 2: 3rd Place @ 2nd Place
  • Game 3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 for the Championship Prize

Tournament Games will be structured exactly like regular season games, with the following exceptions:

  • Games cannot end in a tie. Extra innings are allowed.
  • An extra 10 minutes is added in between game start times to allow teams to play a full game.

2018 Spring Softball Registrations are OPEN!

All 8 of Our Non-Profit Sponsor Organizations

PLAY SOFTBALL FOR CHARITY!

Registrations are now open for our 2018 Spring season!

Players can sign up to play for one of the sponsor organizations in the league and compete to earn donations for their cause. The season starts on April 8 and registrations are limited, so sign up now!

For registration details, visit:
http://bit.ly/2GvlZtf

Sponsor Organizations:
Girls on the Run of the Triangle
Hope Animal Rescue
Housing for New Hope
Kidznotes
Meals on Wheels of Durham
Miracle League of the Triangle
South Durham Little League
STEM in the Park

Special thanks to The Research Triangle Park for their contributions.

Durham Softball Supports the CPCA Clothes Closet

We are proud to announce a new partnership with Central Piedmont Community Action, Inc‘s new Clothes Closet project!

The CPCA “makes a difference in the lives of economically disadvantaged people that need jobs, nutrition, and housing comfort across six North Carolina counties, including Durham. Their work in Durham is focused around a Community Services Block Grant program that assists low-income families and individuals, including the working poor, move from poverty to self-sufficiency and better lives for their families. Services are intended to help participants achieve employment, adequate income levels, and stable and secure households.”

A new program the CPCA is developing at their 1007 Broad Street location in Durham is a Clothes Closet for low-income individuals and families whose income is below the Federal poverty guidelines. This Clothes Closet will allow qualified participants to come to the agency and receive clothing for their family in times of need.

That’s where Durham Softball comes in!

During the season, we will host two clothing drives – one for SOCKS and one for COATS – to support the CPCA’s Clothes Closet project. To encourage involvement from our players and make a little friendly competition, Teams will compete against each other to donate the most items. The team that donates the most items each week will earn earn a bonus donation towards their team sponsor’s charity.

Any pair of socks and any type of coat made for humans will be accepted, regardless of size. Items must be new or lightly used, with no stains/holes/rips/tears. The two weeks that these events will be hosted and the budget for the team bonuses are still TBD and will be announced in March. Donations will be accepted at the field by the umpire until the last out of the last game of the day.

Clean out your closet and support two charities at the same time! We think this is a great way to use our league for good and help the people of Durham while playing a game.

For more information, contact us!

Press Release: 2018 Durham Softball Season Announcement

New Durham Softball League Supports Local Non-Profit Organizations

DURHAM, NC – Durham Softball is a new co-ed recreational softball league that benefits local non-profit organizations in Durham. Players will compete each game for donations to their team’s sponsor organization and help raise awareness for their cause. Thanks to the RTP Foundation, Durham Softball will donate an average of more than $300/team each season to these great local non-profit sponsors.

Durham Softball features a diverse group of local non-profit organizations:

“Our sponsor organizations represent some of the best causes in Durham, so I thought it would be a cool idea to bring them together in one league,” said Ryan Mentock, commissioner of the Durham Softball League. “We believe that each of the sponsors represents a different type of need in our community and they all share the same basic mission of helping Durham. I think it makes the competition more meaningful and fun if we can help support local charities while playing the game.”

Sponsors will earn minimum donations for their participation and teams will compete to earn larger donations by winning games during the season, finishing in the Top 4, or winning the Championship. The goal of the league is to have fun while helping these non-profits improve Durham.

“None of this would be possible without the support of the RTP Foundation, so we are extremely grateful for their help,” said Mentock. “The RTP Foundation’s contributions reflect their commitment to our community and their ability to bring people together to solve society’s toughest problems.”

If you are interested in helping one of these local non-profit sponsor organizations by playing softball, visit durhamsoftball.com for more information!

$55/Player Single-Season Player Registration Fee includes a Team Jersey, 14 Regular Season Games, at least 1 Playoff Game, and a free drink for all players at our sponsor bar after every game.

Registrations Begin February 1, 2018. The first game of the Regular Season is April 1, 2018. Games will be played on Sundays between 11am and 5pm from April through October at the RTP Softball Fields.

Sponsor Donation Pool

The basic concept of the Durham Softball sponsor donations is for the teams to compete to earn donations for their sponsor organization. Every sponsor is guaranteed a minimum donation for their participation, but the sponsor will receive a larger donation at the end of the season based on the number of games their team won, where they placed in the standings, and how well they did in the playoffs. Basically, the better the team performs, the more money the team will raise for their sponsored charity.

While the distributions are determined before the season, the actual dollar amount of the donation will vary based on our total player registration. Instead of a flat prize structure, the league will establish a Donation Pool from all additional funds remaining after the league pays its expenses. The size of the Donation Pool will vary based on the number of players, with a larger percentage of each registration fee going towards charity as more players sign up to play softball.

Because we want to help all of the organizations involved with the league, but we also want there to be enough incentive for the players to make league to be competitive, we have divided the distributions into four main categories: Participation, Wins, Regular-Season, and Playoffs.

Durham Softball’s 2019 Spring Donation Structure

This amount is subject to change each season, but the general principle remains the same. The more people we can recruit to play softball, the more we can help these great organizations!