Future leaders fundraising to build Boys & Girls Club ball field
Members of SMUD’s most recent Building Leadership Talent (BLT) team chose the ambitious and rewarding project of raising funds to build a baseball field for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento. To raise enough money to build the “Field of Dreams”, BLT members have set up a donation website and have teamed up with the Sacramento River Cats with the aim of selling 750 tickets for the Club Partnership Night game on August 25 against the Las Vegas 51s at Raley Field.
The SMUD BLT team envisions that the new baseball field will help the club with their goal to provide a place where kids can feel safe, connect with others, and build the skills and confidence they need to achieve their goals. Slated for the Lemon Hill neighborhood in South Sacramento—an area identified by the California Endowment as one of the 14 areas of greatest need in the state—the field will help the Boys & Girls Club continue to offer a wide variety of activities in an underserved community. The design includes drainage, landscaping, base paths and a backstop.
“We are so very grateful for the SMUD BLT team for all of their hard work to bring this amazing opportunity to our young people who deserve a safe and beautiful space to be active, healthy and further develop their talents,” said Kimberly Key, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento CEO. “Many of our members were not participating in organized sports because of the expense, so we developed our free intermural Great Futures Sports League to include basketball, soccer, and now baseball! Our kids will be so proud to have a field to call their own and share with the community around them,” said Key.
"Boys & Girls Club taught me how to interact with others and how to work toward a common goal through sports and other activities," said Steven On, a BLT team member who grew up spending his afternoons at this very Boys & Girls Club. "BGC depends on the community and volunteers to make it successful, and I'm very excited to help other kids have the same positive experiences I did."
Since 2007, SMUD’s Building Leadership Talent program has brought together a cross-section of SMUD employees each year to help them develop the skills necessary to take on leadership roles at SMUD and in their communities. This comprehensive 12-month program consists of hands-on classroom, experiential and online training, personalized career assessments, peer coaching and mentoring, and the creation and implementation of a community-benefit project.
Last year BLT team members chose Wind Youth Services as the nonprofit organization they would support, raising more than $23,000 in cash and in-kind contributions. In addition, the team volunteered hundreds of hours supporting Wind projects by collecting hygiene kits, facilitating fundraisers, cooking and serving meals, and more. In 2016, SMUD’s BLT team worked to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers, raising funds and securing grants in excess of $100,000 to support several local projects.
SMUD’s BLT program is now a part of SMUD Cares, an employee-run initiative striving to make a positive impact in the community by raising money for a wide variety of local nonprofits. Last year’s campaign raised nearly $500,000. Since 2005, SMUD employees have donated more than $3.8 million to community organizations through SMUD Cares payroll deductions. Local nonprofits that have received some of the largest donations in recent years include Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Sacramento Loaves and Fishes, WEAVE, Inc. and the Sacramento Children’s Home. In total, SMUD employees volunteered over 15,000 hours last year. The economic value of that time adds up to more than $360,000 to local nonprofits.
In addition to the baseball field project, more than 100 SMUD employees spent several hours at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Sacramento constructing an outdoor education space, landscaping, painting and doing interior repair work.
For more information about SMUD and its community work, visit SMUD.org.
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