Feb 28, 2020

"The Pitch" Quarterly Progress Report Project #38634

Melvin "Bodega" Castillo
Melvin "Bodega" Castillo

Dear Friends and Project Supporters,

It is with high optimism and great enthusiasm that I submit this first GlobalGiving project report for “The Pitch” since I have taken over active management of the facility within the past month. 

Due credit needs to go to “The Pitch” Founder Russ Wieser whose original vision back in 2017 created the foundation of this program and whose indefatigable efforts sustained it until a recent career move necessitated his moving out of the country. 

“The Pitch” facility is located on a sliver of land beyond the right field outfield wall at the municipal field in the historic city of Sosua on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic. This ballfield is the proud home of the 2019 Little League Dominican championship team. 

When I asked their coach what he attributed his team’s success to his response was “getting the extra batting practice at “The Pitch”. This proof point is a major one in the fact that the total number of youth baseball teams in this country who eat sleep and breath baseball and compete for this coveted honor is vast. 

So many young boys here have aspirations of making it to the professional level but do not have even the most basic of suitable equipment to play. Addressing this need another vital aspect of this program involves my sourcing inventories of used baseball equipment from Boston and other Northeastern communities and having it shipped down to the Dominican Republic. I then collect it up from the Dominican customs division and present them to the many underprivileged youth players here.

We also welcome women softball players to come and practice to hone their hitting skills as the pitching machine can also accommodate softballs. 

The monthly operating expenses of this facility are very low yet the overall benefit to the local community is tremendous as this keeps the young players here, aged 7-17, off the street and away from other negative influences. 

Part of the future plans here are to expand the capabilities of this training center by purchasing a radar gun to also measure the skills of the pitching prospects who come to this field which would truly make this a comprehensive training facility. As a former professional level player I will personally lend my expertise to train and supervise their development as both promising ball players and well rounded men. 

For so little per month, your contribution, in any increment, will go so far towards the realization of these goals.

Please consider “helping me help them” to make this facility a role model for others throughout this country.

Thank you,

Hugh Baver, Program Director 

603-502-7711 Email: edb1260@gmail.com

With Red Sox Operational Director Javier Hernandez
With Red Sox Operational Director Javier Hernandez
In honor of MLB great and Pitch Tony Fernandez
In honor of MLB great and Pitch Tony Fernandez
Some of the used baseball equipment
Some of the used baseball equipment
Fully outfitted youth in the Batting cage
Fully outfitted youth in the Batting cage
Mural on local community wall
Mural on local community wall

Links:

Feb 18, 2020

Evian III Student Leadership Q1 Project Report

2018 "Revisiting Evian" Conference Group Photo
2018 "Revisiting Evian" Conference Group Photo

Greetings Friends and Project Supporters,

Although we are now in the dead of winter before we know it the summer months will be fast be upon us!

This is my first 2020 project report on the progress I’ve been making towards rescheduling the Évian III Student Educational Leadership Conference event for this upcoming summer which in 2019 regrettably necessitated cancellation based upon insufficient funding.

Let me begin by thanking ALL of you for being the core of support I have received over the past 2 years for this initiative. Without your critical financial assistance neither of the successful 2018 “Revisiting Evian” events would have taken place.

Together we made history reconvening the 80th Anniversary of a pivotal, yet little known, pre WWII Conference which was a major precipitating factor to the Holocaust. And on November 9th we dedicated a WWII Commemorative bronze Plaque in the original Hotel Royal chamber in Évian France where the Conference was convened back in 1938.

The Conference was so “little known” in fact that back in late 2016 when I first visited the Hotel Royal in Evian, none of the on-site staff had any knowledge that the Conference even took place there. Thanks to the assistance of one man, the Hotel guest manager who was working on site that day who took a personal interest in my passion, he gave me the opportunity to demonstrate via the front concierge computer of the Conference’s existence. Without his giving me the benefit of the doubt and the opportunity to provide historical evidence the conception and execution of the 2018 events would never have occurred. Over the course of the past 3 years this gentleman has risen in the ranks of Danone Corporation and now is the #2 man managing the complete Évian Resort facility, which is wonderful and key to the continuing success of this program. He and I are very close friends.

To better understand the genesis of why I chose to conduct this follow on event, it was based on one of the 2018 “80th Anniversary” Conference keynote speakers who when asked to bring, in addition to their set presentations, substantive suggestions on ways to enhance the program in future years suggested making the next event attendees be centered around students to “educate the next generation” of world leaders.

To the high credit of the globally distinguished designated key note speakers who willingly accepted my invitation to present last year, all of them did so refusing to accept a customary honorarium or financial compensation of any kind to attend and contribute to this program.

Here’s videotaped messages from 3 of the international diplomats, Ambassadors from France, the EU, and the Dominican Republic, who were unable to personally attend however still felt compelled to convey their thoughts and express their wholehearted support for the intents and strong merits of this program.

European Commission Katharina Von Schnurbein

US Ambassador to France Jamie McCourt

US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Bernstein


Despite having the entire event completely organized and ready to go (including the total dollar amount raised showing) and receiving the endorsement and financial sponsorship from 34 separate Corporate and individual sponsorships, I still fell far short of the funding required to proceed with the program.

Please consider helping me, in any increment, make this urgently relevant Conference a reality. Seeing the continuing global spate of anti-Semitic incidents and overall acts of intolerance, this year 2020 really is an ideal time to convene this conference.

If you are not in a position to offer your financial support please take a moment to pass this appeal along to others who would find merit in its mission and objectives.

Acting as further validation of this initiative, now stemming across 3 years, I recently received the GlobalGiving “Staff Favorite” award selected among hundreds of qualified and fully vetted projects.

With Gratitude and Sincerely,

Elihu Baver
Director of Évian “Vision 2020” Student Educational Leadership Conference
603-502-7711

Emceeing 80th Anniversary 2018 Conference
Emceeing 80th Anniversary 2018 Conference
Receiving Evian Gold Key to the City from Mayor
Receiving Evian Gold Key to the City from Mayor

Links:

Nov 30, 2019

The Pitch Fall 2019 Update

We have had a great fall season with a lot of kids using the facilities at the batting cage

 I am pleased to announce that the local league that we are able to work with the most ,won the Dominican Little League Championship at the end of the last quarter. We are extremely happy  with that result, and are pleased that we were able to help the kids with their training and provide plenty of pitches and additional time in the batters box as they prepared for their winning series.    Fall in The Dominican Republic brings the start of the new season, while American baseball is in the off season the Dominican leagues are just getting started and practice is in full swing for the 2020 season The kids are putting in as much time in the cage / batting practice as possible and we are hopeful for another successful season.    We have also had the pleasure of working with several kids/young adults that are taking their game to the next level by  attending university " One of our young playes has received a full ride scholorship {athletic}  in the United States and we said goodbye and good luck to him this past quarter as he prepares for his new life in the United States 

We have been working hard on our League/to Liga adoption program where Little League organizations in the United States and Canada can Adopt or Sponsor a Little Liga organization within the Dominican Republic. Our direct contacts  assist with the logistics and then distribute the equipment to a Dominican league in need.  With our direct intervention we are able to confirm that the equipment is distributed directly to the children that need it  and we are able to avoid the equipment being resold on the street for profit.  The next shipment contains about 50 bats, helmets, shoes, and gloves that we hope to be able to distribute during the 2019 Christmas season to help a few of the kids. Customs currently has this shipment on hold while we gather the funds requested to relaese the shipment. The shipment was not supposed to be taxed or even delivered to Santo Domingo but that is just how the system works and we are hoping for a positive outcome.    If your interested in participating in this program please use the contact us within the Global Giving site and we will return the email or you gan email us direct at  ThePitchSosua@gmail.com 

Our equipment donations are up this year but our cash donations, the life sustaining element of or organization has severly diminished.  Lower tourism numbers due to several factors has decreased our visability as well as recent changes taking place here in the local community of Sosua.  These changes are an attempt to make Sosua and the surrounding area more "Family Friendly"  While we are all supportive of this new look and feel for the community, It has put yet another major strain on the local economy with higher unemployment and a lack of available resources for our families & friends to work with.   Our cash donations year to date are down 85%  as compared to last year during the same time period.  The lack of cash donations has severly slowed down our growth and has prohibited needed facilities maintenance and has prohibited us from putting together our mobile unit so that we can take The Pitch Batting cages out into the community to assist the majority kids that do not have access to our stationary facility 

We have recently updated the donation portal to include a couple of really easy monthly single donation options as well as our recurring options which will let us actually plan for our future by allowing some donations to repeat monthly.   

 
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