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Rafters Continue Tradition of Giving Back to Community in 2017

December 22, 2017 - Northwoods League (Northwoods) - Wisconsin Rapids Rafters News Release

Partnerships With Local Businesses Benefit Local Organizations

Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. - The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are proud to announce that through partnerships with local businesses they have raised money to donate over $20,000 to local non-profit organizations. The Rafters were able to use a variety of different formats to raise money throughout the 2017 season.

Always popular nights amongst fans, alternate jerseys worn by the Rafters during three games during the 2017 season were included in silent auctions, with the proceeds benefitting local organizations. Fey Printing partnered with the Rafters for Military Appreciation Night on June 29th and presented an American flag themed jersey. All proceeds from this auction were donated to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, which flies American heroes to Washington D.C. to visit their memorials. Advanced Disposal presented the first-ever Star Wars jerseys that were worn by the Rafters on July 1st for Star Wars Night. Proceeds from the Star Wars jersey benefitted the Boys and Girls Club of Wisconsin Rapids. The final jersey auction on July 12th was presented by Ho-Chunk Gaming Nekoosa and featured a camouflage jersey with blaze orange numbering and lettering. All proceeds from the Outdoorsman Night jerseys benefitted the local Habitat for Humanity organization.

The Rafters play on the field also helped contribute to the tremendous amount of money donated this season as well. Through a partnership with Duncan Disability Law, each time the Rafters stole a base during a home game at Witter Field, a donation of $20 was made to The Family Center of Wisconsin Rapids. For the 2017 season, the Rafters finished with 60 stolen bases in games played at historic Witter Field.

Duncan Disability Law also was the presenting sponsor of the first two relief pitchers entering each home game in 2017. Duncan Disability Law donated $10 to Special Olympics for each one of the 62 relief pitchers they sponsored in 2017.

For each home run hit by the Rafters at home Spectrum Insurance Group and West Bend Mutual Insurance made a donation of $75 to the South Wood County YMCA. The Rafters finished the season with 34 home runs hit at Witter Field.

Incourage Community Foundation and the Rafters partnered together to provide funds for the annual 4th of July fireworks show in Wisconsin Rapids. One dollar from each bag of cotton candy sold at Witter Field went to the fireworks fund. In total there were 944 bags of Cotton Candy sold during the 2017 season. The Rafters and Incourage also partner together to provide the Lil' Rafters Reading Program. Elementary school students in the Wisconsin Rapids area are given two free tickets to a Rafters game if they are able to complete a predetermined reading requirement set by their teacher. For the 2017 season, over 700 students in the district completed the program. Incourage also presents 2 for 1 tickets to fans that drop off non-perishable food items at one select Rafters game each season.

The Rafters partnered with Mid-State Technical College for the inaugural Stevens Point Reading Program in 2017. Similar to the Wisconsin Rapids program through Incourage, all students who participated and met their reading goals received two free tickets to a game courtesy of Mid-State Technical College.

In 2017 the first-ever K's for Kids promotion took place, presented by Parkwood Eyecare. For every strikeout by a Rafters pitcher at Witter Field, Parkwoods Eyecare made a donation to one area Little League organization.

Witter Field was again the site for the Hunger Coalition Food Sculpture event "United We Can" on June 14th this summer. In partnership with United Way along with the support of local businesses, the event was able to leverage roughly 7,000 pounds of food that was distributed to food programs in South Wood County. With the Rafters' help, the event has been able to leverage over 32,000 pounds of food in the past five years.

The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters also take great pride in working with many local non-profit organizations by providing fundraising ticket packages that allow those organizations to recoup a portion of the ticket price to put towards their specific mission or another charity they support. The Rafters also provide donation bags filled with Rafters merchandise to non-profit organizations as another method to help with their fundraising efforts. In 2017, over 120 charitable donations were made by the Rafters. In addition, the team made over 80 free appearances in the community featuring members of the Rafters' Cranberry Crew, Rafters players, and team mascot Rosco P. Rafter.

The Rafters would like to thank all corporate sponsors and the community as a whole for all of your continued support during 2017, which assists our organization in its charitable works.

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