Promoting the pastime: JAYBAL, Wilhelms join forces to boost baseballAmerica’s pastime begins in the sandlots of local communities, and Wilhelm Chevrolet Buick GMC of Jamestown is doing its part to help ensure that pastime is an enjoyable experience for area youngsters.
By: Michael Savaloja, The Jamestown Sun
America’s pastime begins in the sandlots of local communities, and Wilhelm Chevrolet Buick GMC of Jamestown is doing its part to help ensure that pastime is an enjoyable experience for area youngsters.
Wilhelm has partnered with Jamestown Area Youth Baseball (JAYBAL) in 2012, providing the local program with equipment, a $500 check and an opportunity to raise even further funds through the nationwide Chevy Youth Baseball program.
Chevy Youth Baseball is a grassroots community outreach program that supports youth baseball leagues across the country. Chevy Youth Baseball contributed $5 million to participating leagues in 2011, and the program has impacted nearly 3 million kids since its inception 2006.
A total of 1,600 Chevrolet dealerships are participating in the program in 2012.
With its sponsorship of JAYBAL this summer, Wilhelm has provided the program with 10 equipment bags, 10 buckets of baseballs, 10 batting tees, 120 whiffle balls, one hitting net and 150 Chevy Youth Baseball branded T-shirts.
“It’s very nice to be able to help out the program,” said Tom Wilhelm, of Wilhelm Chevrolet Buick GMC. “Every program needs money. I don’t care if it’s baseball, football, hockey, it takes a lot of money to generate these programs and it’s nice that Chevrolet and Wilhelm are able to help.”
At Al Boelke Fields in Jamestown on Thursday, Tom, Rod and Jeff Wilhelm presented JAYBAL president Steve Bennion with a one-time sponsorship check in the amount of $500. JAYBAL supports approximately 400 area kids that compete in T-ball (kindergarten) all the way through Legion Baseball (high school).
“Our biggest challenge is equipment, and this whole program that (Chevrolet and Wilhelm is) supporting us with is just a huge help for that need,” Bennion said.
But the support hasn’t stopped there. JAYBAL and Wilhelm have also teamed up in the Chevy Youth Baseball Vehicle-Giveaway Fundraiser.
JAYBAL teams and board members are currently in the process of selling 2,000 tickets, where the winning ticket holder can choose between a brand new 2012 Chevrolet Cruze or Equinox. Tickets are $10 each and JAYBAL not only gets to keep 100 percent of those proceeds, but they’ll also receive cash bonuses for hitting sales goals.
Bennion said they’re close to having 1,000 tickets sold, which already qualifies JAYBAL for an additional $250. The program would receive an additional $500 at 1,000 tickets sold, and if it sells all 2,000 tickets JAYBAL would receive another $1,000.
“Not only has the Chevy program donated a bunch of equipment … the money from the ticket sales, all that stuff is going to come back and we are going to be able to supply the kids with better equipment,” Bennion said. “Not only for this year, which we are already putting that money to use for, but for next year.”
Purchasing a ticket is also good for $25 off vehicle service at Wilhelm in Jamestown, plus $300 off the price of a new vehicle. Along with the grand prize of a new Cruze or Equinox, a second-prize winner will receive an IPad 2.
Tickets can be purchased from any JAYBAL board or team member until July 15. The prize drawings, which are conducted regionally, will be held in August.
“Our goal is to raise as much money as we can through those ticket sales,” Bennion said. “Obviously, there’s a huge incentive for us, the more that we sell the more money that comes back to our program.”
Those at Wilhelm said they’re happy to help.
“In the old days, the big slogan was baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet. And, hot dogs, of course,” Tom Wilhelm said. “But what (Chevrolet) is trying to do is bring this back. Bring Chevy back with baseball and create a lot of enthusiasm with getting people to bring money in to help out baseball, plus selling some Chevrolets.”
Sun sports writer Michael Savaloja can be reached at (701) 952-8461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org