Batters Up USA, which raises funds to sponsor equipment and instructor
needs to organizations starting up recreational baseball/softball
programs, said it has been able to support seven new programs through
equipment contributions this season. Jess Heald, executive director,
Batters Up USA, said the programs were started “even though this has
been a tough year for non-profit support.”

“A few more had requested equipment, but our current resources did not
permit additional contributions,” said Heald in the coalition's Summer
2009 newsletter. “Batters UP USA said. “Hopefully next year, we can be
more aggressive and support all who make equipment requests.”

Since its inception three years ago, Batters Up USA has started up 44 programs in 20 states totaling over 10,387 players.

The communities, states and participants supported by the Batters Up
USA program included Birmingham, AL (250); Paris, AZ (25); Santa
Barbara, Burlingame, San Bernadino, Oakland, Anaheim, CA ( 885);
Washington DC (800); Pinellas Park, FL (100); Chicago (unknown);
Lebanon, Lake Station, IN (350); Dayton, OH (160); Oklahoma City,
Tulsa, OK (347); Fitchburg, MA (300); Lansing, Detroit, MI (50);
Springfield, Puxico, MO (250); Bloomington, NC (350); Albuquerque, Taos
County, NM (1,300); Lancaster, Beaver Falls, PA (330); Providence, RI
(270); Nashville, Chattanooga, TN (1,040); San Antonio, Dallas TX
(3,450); Salt Lake, UT (100); Stuart, VA (30).

The group noted that its primary local partners have been parks &
rec departments, after-school programs, Boys & Girls Clubs, Police
Athletic Leagues, and local private support organizations.

The group also noted that thanks to board member Herb Markwort, of
Markwort Sporting Goods Co., it now has available for sale a starter
T-ball set in its own package with its imprinted logo. The kit contains
a batting tee, a T-ball bat, three balls, and a set of throw-down
bases, all for a suggested team price of $29.95.

The kit can be purchased through local sporting goods retailers by
asking them to place your order through Markwort Sporting Goods Co. of
St. Louis. For each kits sold, Herb Markwort is making a $5 donation to
the organization.

Batters Up USA also noted that several changes and additions have been
made to its website, including all the information on its T-ball set
and how it may be purchased and a “Donate Now” button so we can take
credit card contributions and memberships.