Feb 16, 2021

Q1 2021 Pitch Batting Cage Project Report

Dear Friends and Pitch Program Supporters,

Welcome to a new year and my first project report of 2021. 

As challenging times associated with the global pandemic persist my primary hope is for your personal health and for the health of your families. 

Despite COVID and always maintaining the safety of the players, coaches, and their families, I continue to remain incredibly impressed with the deeply embedded spirit and love for the game of baseball here in the Dominican Republic.

As the popularity and enthusiasm for The Pitch Batting Cage program here in Sosua grows I am constantly looking for creative ways to enhance this valuable community resource which keeps young players off the streets and away from other negative influences.

Although the overall number of young participants has dropped since the height of participation 1 year ago, typically serving 150 players per week and up to 100 cycling through on Saturdays, we still maintain an active schedule of aspiring young players who enjoy coming to this facility to take their free swings. 

I’m pleased to announce the mid December 2020 launch of “Cards For Sosua”, a new creative baseball card giveaway program working in collaboration with baseball card collectors in the US. 

https://cards4sosua.wordpress.com/

As actual photos and videos best capture the smiles and overall impact of The Pitch please view the attached links.

Despite demonstrating the immense overall value and hope to young players this program provides our sponsorship levels regrettably are diminishing. 

Due to the pandemic which continues to take its toll financially on local businesses and the tourism industry here which is the lifeblood of the Dominican economy, your financial assistance makes a huge difference.

I am still striving to raise the funds to continue repairing the facility with hopes of installing a protective roof as well as commencing education seminars and English as a second language classes.

Please consider making a contribution, in any increment towards maintaining this community program and helping these young aspiring players.

Thank you for all you have already done to keep The Pitch program going!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally with any questions or personal requests you may have.

 

Sincerely,

 

Hugh Baver

Director of The Pitch Maquina de Batear

New glove for aspiring young girl
New glove for aspiring young girl
Baseball Card Holiday Giveaway
Baseball Card Holiday Giveaway

Links:

Feb 4, 2021

Q1 2021 Evian III Student Conference Update

Leading the 2018 Revisiting Evian Conference
Leading the 2018 Revisiting Evian Conference

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Supporters,

 

First and foremost, my best wishes to everyone who has navigated the past turbulent year as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about an unimaginable shift in how we live, work, support each other, and our communities.  

Being confined to the digital world for the better part of 2020 and now into 2021 so too, did it disrupt the continuity of re-hosting the Évian III Student Educational Leadership Conference at the Hotel Royal last year. 

Being an educator these days, in any capacity, is extremely challenging.

In this quarterly report, my goal is to reassert the high merits and tremendous educational opportunity which reconvening this Conference represents towards setting new standards of Holocaust Education for International college students.

Each year the world loses more of the few remaining Holocaust survivors; those who actually cite their personal testimonies referencing the horrific events of WWII. Understanding this attrition and combining it with the absence of actual face-to-face social interaction in “traditional” educational settings, push us now to conceive new creative methods to “Educate and Remember”.

Through an immersive and experiential learning environment,theEvian III SELC presents an innovative educational programming opportunity to draw contemporary relevance from the late 1930’s and early 1940’s to the events and challenges of immigration and refugees in today’s world. 

Beyond conventional learning techniques and text book curriculum this Conference will “bring the past to life” helping college students who are struggling to find and define their own identity, create their own legacies.  

As the potential “future face” of Holocaust Commemoration and Education, the SELC will immerse students in this historic backdrop and facilitate students to become stakeholders in their own destinies. By using their own voices, students will act as goodwill ambassadors in their own communities throughout the world.

While news of a vaccine gives us cause for optimism the timeline for our lives returning to normal remains uncertain. Therefore, the plan is to work towards hosting students directly at the Hotel Royal in November of 2021.

However, if global travel circumstances or extended strict COVID social distancing guidelines preclude this option, instead, within a 45 day runway and funding dependent, I will transition this to a complete virtual event. 

Partnering with newly uncovered International Holocaust Commemoration organizations, Non-profits, and individuals with synergistic missions and objectives, I dedicate my time and energy for this program to be recognized, supported, and succeed in honor of those who perished under WWII Nazi atrocities during the Holocaust. 

Your tax deductible donation, in any increment and sponsorship of this program is deeply appreciated and will be applied directly toward achieving the express goals of this Conference.

Please do not hesitate to get back to me with any questions or interest in special underwriting or sponsorship opportunities related to this program.

Also kindly please pass this link along to others you know who may find sincere interest in co-organizing, participating in, or financing this Conference. 

 

With continuing hopes for the health and well being of you and your families in 2021,

Thank you,

Elihu Baver

Receiving Evian Gold Key to the City from Mayor
Receiving Evian Gold Key to the City from Mayor
July 1938 Conference photo of country delegate
July 1938 Conference photo of country delegate
Evian Gold Key and Distinguished Citizen Award
Evian Gold Key and Distinguished Citizen Award
WWII Historic Plaque dedicated on Kristallnacht
WWII Historic Plaque dedicated on Kristallnacht

Links:

Oct 16, 2020

The Pitch Season Reopening Update Report

Best sign painter in town
Best sign painter in town

Dear Friends and Project Supporters,

As all are aware since my last report 3 months ago life has been surreal and unprecedented in every way for everyone. My first thoughts are those of hope and support to you that your circle of family and friends have remained safe and healthy during these troubling times.

Here in Sosua I am devoting every effort to make this a constructive transformative time during The Pitch facility closure. As their customary refuge and “escape” from the struggles of every day life the young baseball players here have been locked up in their homes during the extreme summer heat and trying to manage their overwhelming urge to get back on the field and into the batting cage. 

Working directly with you to help improve the young players’ outlook and inspire them with hope, I’m attempting to provide enhanced baseball resources and create an improved facility for them to return back to in November when the country, businesses, and overall tourism activities here are scheduled to re-open.

Recently on August 28th, and in keeping with all prescribed Covid safety protocols, a private event was convened to dedicate The Pitch facility in honor of Dominican and MLB great Tony Fernandez. Not only was Tony a superior player; All-Star, Gold Glover, and World Series Champion, via his dedicated work ethic and strong faith he overcame a life of abject poverty in San Pedro de Macoris becoming a great humanitarian and positive role model for all young players to emulate in the Dominican Republic and around the world.

Per the attached photos and Dominican Today article the event was attended by over 100 local dignitaries and supporters including the Mayors of all 3 major cities on the Dominican North Coast. The new President Luis Abinader sent a representative from his cabinet to personally endorse the program with an additional separate letter of support sent from Robin Bernstein, the current US Dominican Ambassador.

The 4 “guiding principles” of The Pitch program are:

  • Batting and pitching practice and skill development instruction
  • Professional and post baseball advising and mentoring
  • English as a second language ESL 
  • Collection and Distribution of Used baseball equipment to needy youth players

Recent Developments: 

Reporting on the progress made since my last update, during the now 6 month interim of time while the facility has been officially “closed to the public”, thanks to your previous or ongoing monthly financial support and sponsorship, measurable and substantive progress has been actualized on addressing a few desperately needed critical infrastructural reparations which include:

Construction of:

  • A new backstop with the Pitch logo painted on both interior and exterior to replace the old broken one
  • Bolstering and re-soldering the existing metal cage framework 
  • Delivery and installation of new heavy duty poly professional quality baseball netting which will hold up more strongly from the deteriorating effects of the elements sun, rain, and sea air
  • A new 12’ x 12’ concrete pad to safely position the pitching machines on a solid level foundation

Purchase of: 

  • A heavy duty tarp serving as a temporary roof and water barrier protecting the pitching machines from the elements 
  • “Juggs” specially designed baseballs and softballs for repeated usage and wear and tear

Near Term Plans:

COVID 19 precautionary safety measures, guidelines, and restrictions permitting, beginning Nov. 1st we will be:

  • Initiating the ESL (English as a 2nd language) classes for the young players through the new collaborative partnership with IIC (Instituto Intercultural del Caribe) 
  • Scheduling our first “Happy and Healthy” seminar through a newly formed partnership with HHI (Health Horizons International) 
  • Dedication of “Cage time” to young women’s softball players who love the game yet are always repressed and relegated to the “back of the line”

Future Plans:

  • Establishment of a large scale used baseball equipment distribution center here at The Pitch serving the entire Dominican North Coast.
  • Coordination of International youth baseball tournaments here at the field in Sosua enlisting teams and Little League programs from the US, Canada and South America. 
  • Discussions with an air transport company who owns a large warehouse in Miami who is potentially willing to dedicate some space to receive and store all US used baseball sent and then fly them down to the nearby Puerto Plata airport for easy retrieval.

By sustaining this valuable community resource we are empowering local youth through baseball; addressing their complete 360 degree development while spurring new “Sports Tourism” and the overall economic recovery of the area. This project is a tremendous opportunity to help make a real impact on the lives of truly underprivileged and underserved young people here. 

I am humbly appreciative of the fact that “The Pitch” has earned the coveted seal and public citation from the GlobalGiving team as a “Staff Favorite” so I’m hoping it will earn your seal of favor and approval as well! 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly via email with any specific questions or to discuss ways you can become more involved to be a valuable part of this success story.

 

With Gratitude,

Hugh Baver

Director of “The Pitch Maquina de Batear” on Facebook 

603-502-7711 on WhatsApp 

 

Event attendees
Event attendees
View of event printedagenda and program attendees
View of event printedagenda and program attendees
At podium with dear friend and Spanish interpreter
At podium with dear friend and Spanish interpreter
Distributing used baseball equipment sent from US
Distributing used baseball equipment sent from US
The Pitch prior to renovations thanks to you
The Pitch prior to renovations thanks to you
Never have seen more enthusiastic young players
Never have seen more enthusiastic young players
Event presentation of local champions and players
Event presentation of local champions and players

Links:

 
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