Colorado State’s club baseball team welcomes a new partner for its annual fundraiser game: The Wounded Warrior Project.
The game, originally scheduled for April 16 and postponed twice due to weather, will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. at City Park Field in Fort Collins. Not only will the Rams use the extra motivation in their attempts to remain atop its division against conference opponent Colorado Mesa, but the day will also be filled with silent auctions, raffles and donations, all of which will go toward the Wounded Warrior Project.
There is no shortage of star power when looking at the items included in the silent auction. From signed baseball bats of current Colorado Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra to Colorado Rockies tickets to CSU merchandise, gift cards and picnic baskets, there will be plenty of options to satisfy those in attendance.
After years of partnering with Susan G. Komen Colorado to fight breast cancer, the Rams decided to reach out to the Wounded Warrior Project for something new. Led by senior outfielder and club president Stratton Williams, the idea came to fruition.
“Once a year, we like to do something for the community,” Williams said. “It was Veteran Appreciation Month, a couple of the guys got together and we said, ‘Why don’t we show honor to wounded veterans and people who fought and died for our country?'”
The idea took off as sponsors made themselves known throughout the community. Williams, who is also a student representative for the Wounded Warrior Project, played a large role in bringing the fundraiser together.
“I called them up to see if we could host an event or hold a fundraiser,” Williams said. “I went through the paperwork and got the event approved for them.”
There has been no lack of support from family members of the team and the Fort Collins community as a whole.
“Most of the donated items are from local business or parents from the guys on the team,” Williams said. “Our friends and family liked the idea, they told other people about it and I think it’s going to be a big thing. We’re definitely going to draw a big crowd.”
Given its already-lofty expectations and increased excitement throughout Fort Collins, the fundraiser has the possibility of becoming a staple in CSU club baseball.
“I do see the event (becoming a tradition),” Williams said. “We might flip-flop between whether we’re going to do breast cancer awareness or Wounded Warrior Project next spring, but I definitely see this event happening again in the future.”
The game itself is part of a crucial three-game series against Colorado Mesa. The Rams currently sit one and a half games ahead of Wyoming and one game ahead of Colorado Mesa in the Mid-America West conference of the National Club Baseball Association.
All three teams are still in contention for a divisional championship and a trip to Regionals. The best news for the Rams? They control their own destiny. Sweep the Mavericks this weekend and they secure their spot in the postseason.
Aside from a week off due to weather, the Mavericks come in hot having won seven of their last eight games. CMU pitcher Anthony Gerken, fresh off a no-hitter, and infielder Elias Steadman won pitcher and hitter of the week, respectively, after their last outings.
Whether the fundraiser becomes a tradition or not, there is no doubt that the event will draw massive attention this weekend. Look for the Rams to use the motivation from the Wounded Warrior Project and an excited home crowd to finish the deal.
Collegian Sports Reporter Colin Barnard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.