Sunday, in a grass field near the Coborns Grocery store in Glencoe, around 90 people saw the only beep baseball game in Minnesota this year. The event raised around $200 for the Millers, but more importantly, it gave people a chance to see what an amazing sport beep baseball is. It almost didn’t happen though.
In 2013, we met Gary Koch, the Lion who has organized this event for the past three years. Within minutes, Gary fell in love with the idea of beep baseball and offered to arrange a game between the Millers and a team of community players as a part of the Glencoe Days annual festival. The event was such a big success that we were invited back in 2014 to do it again. Thanks to heavy rains, the 2014 event was delayed a month, and was then cut short by more heavy rains that started almost immediately after we’d completed the game. Still, the turnout was fantastic and we were looking forward to doing it again in 2015. Unfortunately, thanks to some internal politics, the Glencoe Lions decided to withdraw their support for the event about a month before it was supposed to take place.
Gary was undaunted, though, and approached supportive individuals from Glencoe and other nearby Lions clubs, and two weeks later, the event was back on. The turnout was still fantastic, and so was the weather. The Millers beat Glencoe 17-2, but everybody we talked to said they had fun and learned something new about how a sport designed primarily for blind people can be just as challenging, and exciting to watch, as one designed for people with normal vision.
The Millers would like to thank Gary, his wife Emmy, and the rest of the crew for sharing a wonderful day with us, and for sharing beep baseball with a small part of Minnesota. Gary is already talking about holding two events next year, and has offered to work with other Lions clubs that would like to hold more. This helps us to fulfill our primary mission, which is to provide blind and visually impaired people throughout Minnesota the opportunity to become more physically fit through competitive sports, and to educate people throughout the state about what it’s like to be blind. If you’re a Lion, or know one, please talk to your club about helping the Millers hold a fund raising and publicity event in your area, and use the links on this page to contact us for ideas.
P.s. Events like this can help the Millers, but they can also do so much more. For example:
- Why not help clean up a local park in exchange for using it as a venue?
- In addition to collecting donations for the Millers, how about collecting nonperishable food for a local food shelf, or used eyeglasses for recycling?.
- What goes together with a baseball game better than food? Why not hold a bake sale and split the proceeds with a local charity? Baked goods might sell faster if they can be eaten conveniently while watching the game.
- Get youth involved. It’s a great volunteer opportunity that they’ll never forget.
- Finally, use the event to promote your club and to invite new people to become Lions. The largest service club in the world won’t stay that way without new blood once in a while.