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Heartland baseball team gets help from community for trip to world series

Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 7:59 PM CDT
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CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - A Heartland baseball team is working hard on and off the field for their trip to the world series.

The McDonald’s Fighting Squirrels in Charleston are looking to travel to Mobile, Alabama later this week after they punched their ticket for the Babe Ruth’s Baseball World Series.

While they played and won their games on the field, they are also working off the field to help offset any costs while they are down in Mobile.

The McDonald’s Fighting Squirrels Head Coach Michael Minner said the team made some strides in collecting enough money through car washes and sponsors that have pitched in.

“A lot of times you think it’s just baseball but there’s always so much more than that,” Minner said. “There’s the behind the scene, we’re going to have to get there, we’re going to have to have a vehicle to get there, we’re going to have to be in hotels and have to provide meals for these guys. So, a lot of people put in a lot of time and effort to make this trip possible for us and we certainly couldn’t do it without the help of so many.”

Minner said he can’t thank the community enough for their generosity.

“There’s so many great people that are so supportive and they’re the reason the fighting squirrels are still an organization and still rocking and rolling,” Minner said. “Today, we had Alliance Health and Dermatology, Camp Merkley Kids Dental, Aurora Medical Spa, Missouri Delta, Southeast Health, McDaniel Outdoor products, they kicked in early this morning and gave us a huge financial help when we needed it.”

A parent of a player spoke about the commitment the community had for team.

“It’s so awesome to see a community come together in hopes to send these boys to the World Series,” said Jennifer Gast, mother of player Austin Gast. “The money raised in such a short amount of time is profound and truly reflects the generosity of people. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re stepping up to the plate to give it to them.”

Other sponsors for the Fighting Squirrels include: Coon Insurance, Charleston Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Bank, L & S Pharmacy, Delta New Holland, PC Wellness Centers, NAPA, Ultimate Flooring, Bennett Family Dentistry, McDonald’s, FTS, Aycorp Media, Coalter Insurance Group, Hudson Chiropractic, Concept Ag, Health Facilities Rehab and other community members.

“It’s just unlimited, and for a program to be successful and had the amount of success that we have had, we have to have that help,” Minner said.

Their first game is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. They leave to go to Mobile Thursday morning at 8 a.m.

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