Youth from the Boys & Girls Club have a chance to play baseball thanks to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers’ recent donation of $10,000. The newly formed “Junior Woodpeckers” will be showcased at the team’s home game against the Fredericksburg Nationals on Saturday, June 18, at Segra Stadium.
The initiative is part of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers Community Leaders Program, which generates donations through corporate partnerships with area businesses and through fundraising events throughout the year. Their goal is to provide support to youth sports and military service members and their families.
The Junior Woodpeckers were formed to give children the opportunity to participate in youth sports without having to worry about the costs usually associated with extracurricular activities.
“The Junior Woodpeckers initiative was something I wanted to put in place to be able to give children in Fayetteville the same opportunities and kind of level the playing field,” said Kristen Nett, Fayetteville Woodpeckers community relations manager. “I saw that it was harder for some families to be able to pay for their children to be involved in sports.”
The donation to the Boys & Girls Club pays for uniforms, equipment, registration fees and other expenses related to playing in a baseball league. Junior players will receive a custom jersey with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers logo on the sleeve.
The “Junior Woodpeckers” is a 12U team that can compete in the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation youth baseball league. This year’s team formed in April.
“The goal is to have it be a yearly (opportunity),” said Nett. “My goal is to form a totally free baseball league in Fayetteville. So, this is just the start.”
“The Woodpeckers are really excited. I feel it’s our responsibility to be able to come into this community and give back and do everything we can to help others.”
The Woodpeckers minor league baseball team was established in Fayetteville in 2019 as a Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros. The team was formerly known as the Buies Creek Astros and played on the campus of Campbell University.
When the franchise moved to Fayetteville, they got a new name and a new home at Segra Stadium. Fans were invited to suggest a new name for the team, and the Woodpeckers was selected in honor of the red-cockaded bird that was once found throughout Fayetteville but is now an endangered species.
For more information on the Fayetteville Woodpeckers or to buy tickets for the game, visit www.fayettevillewoodpeckers.com.