‘Home Run Derby’ to benefit The First Tee

MIDDLETOWN – The first-ever “Home Run Derby” will be held Sunday, April 19, starting at 2 p.m. at Middletown High School.

The event, hosted by Miami University Middletown’s Students Engaging In Real Volunteer Efforts (SERVE), will provide individuals and families with an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the spring weather as they support a local non-profit, The First Tee.

Virginia (Ginger) Wickline, assistant professor of Clinical Psychology at MUM, Miami Middletown Diversity Council co-chair and SERVE faculty advisor said the event is a fun, outdoor activity.

“We wanted to raise money for a good cause,” Wickline said. “With the Home Run Derby, a team signs up and someone pitches, and every time they hit a ball into the outfield, or past a certain point, it counts as a home run. There are a certain number of outs, and a team keeps batting as long as they keep hitting the ball out of the infield.”

The team that gets the most hits before they reach their allowed number of outs will receive a prize, she said.

“SERVE, a Miami Middletown Student Organization, does a number of small or large scale events each year to benefit non-profits in our area,” Wickline said, “It’s also a way to help students develop leadership and community involvement skills.”

SERVE has previously supported organizations like The Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities and The Middletown Pregnancy Center as well as students in crisis at Miami Middletown.

“Student leaders organize the event under the supervision of several faculty advisors. By the time the event takes place, they will have put in over 100 hours on the planning, coordinating, recruiting and donation seeking, to make the event happen,” Wickline said.

Lindsey Street, SERVE president, said she is excited about the event.

“This is the first year that SERVE has put this event on, so it is brand new,” she said. “The First Tee is a wonderful non-profit in our eyes and we really appreciate that they work with youth, especially in the act of getting them involved in a social event and teaching them skills. We think that’s very important.”

The First Tee of Greater Miami Valley is an organization that provides young people with character-building and life skills lessons using golf as the platform. The First Tee encourages kids and teens to be successful in school and life, utilizing character education and life skills programming to emphasize 9 core values - including respect, integrity, and perseverance - all through learning the game of golf.

One hundred percent of the profits from the event will go toward The First Tee’s “Tee Up” program. Although, there’s not an established goal since this is the first time for the event, SERVE hopes to raise about $500 to $1,000, organizers said.

Middletown High School will be donating the field for the day, and there are various partners from Miami Middletown, who are sponsoring the event through funding.

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