There’s nothing like a little baseball and Midwest barbeque on a hot July day in Iowa. The team here at Freaky Fresh was honored to be a sponsoring partner of the Never Say Can’t Foundation‘s Baseball Showcase and Picnic on July 14th at Johnston High School. The Showcase was a fantastic opportunity for high schoolers in the Des Moines area to interact with peers and get evaluated by college coaches. The food provided by Hy-Vee was delicious: burgers, chips, cookies, and some much-needed water. The silent auction featured items from Tampa Bay Rays’ star pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and brought in money for the Kiwanis Miracle League of Des Moines. But the best part of the day was seeing a community come together and support each other.
The Never Say Can’t Foundation was created in 2012 in memory of Spenser Nelson. Spenser was a Johnston High School athlete that sadly passed away in January 2012. Spenser was raised in a sports family and loved all sports, especially baseball. Spenser was a passionate player and had dreams of playing collegiate sports. The Foundation’s goal through the showcase is to give high school students a chance to meet college coaches and get evaluated in hopes of furthering their baseball careers in college (Spenser’s older brother plays college baseball in Minnesota). Judging by all the players that showed up, the event accomplished its goal and then some.
Baseball players from Johnston, Dowling Catholic, Southeast Polk, Ames, Ankeny, Valley, Cedar Falls, Marshalltown, Dallas Center Grimes, and Waukee high schools attended the showcase. Johnston’s athletic director, Gary Ross, told the Johnston Patch that he was impressed with the community coming together for such a good cause. “It’s a beautiful day,” Ross said. “It’s a lot of people coming forward and coming together. To me, that’s sometimes as exciting as the event if anything; to get a bunch of people together on a great cause and really it draws kids, it draws the community and it’s a wonderful thing.” (Full article here.)
At Freaky Fresh, we are members of this community. We knew Spenser. And we were honored to help put on this event. While our role was minimal compared to some other volunteers, we helped promote the event with a foundation Facebook page and a Twitter account. We also designed email campaigns, the sponsors banner, and helped with t-shirt designs.
We were happy to see such a great turnout on July 14th, and we hope that we can continue to help this event grow even bigger in the future. When communities come together anything is possible, whether that is earning a baseball scholarship, raising money for a charity, or just simply healing and having fun together again.