By Ryan Yousefi
After over a year of fundraising, a Coral Springs youth baseball team is set to visit the capital of the baseball world.
The Coral Springs Clippers Under-12 travel baseball squad is readying to take the Baseball Hall of Fame Field in Cooperstown, New York, by storm following just over a year of fundraising efforts to make their once-in-a-lifetime trip a reality.
In early 2022 the boys, coaches, and parents agreed on shooting for a goal of raising $25,000 to make Cooperstown a reality, and with just under a month left, the team accomplished this and is now making preparations for a trip to New York.
While visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame is the main attraction on the team’s itinerary, the Clippers will also handle some business as it participates in a tournament from July 21-27.
According to a parent of one of the players, the journey from idea to fruition has been a lesson of how hard work and stick-to-itiveness can result in some of life’s biggest rewards.
“The boys have done so many fundraisers to make it to this point,” Michelle Richard, a parent of one of the Clippers, tells Coral Springs Talk.
From fundraisers at Publix, Super Bowl square contests, raffles, popcorn sales, and sponsorships to their ‘Dinner on the Diamond’ event — an Italian dinner served on the baseball diamond where the boys were the waiters and served guests — they worked so hard, she said.
Richard shares that all members of the Coral Springs Clippers live in the Coral Springs and Parkland area and attend schools, including Ramblewood Middle School, Westglades Middle School, Sawgrass Middle School, and Coral Springs Charter.
According to Richard, the 13 players attending the trip are Dominic Richard, Ben Steinberg, Chris Nacarato, Christopher Galinaitis, Colston Geiger, Cooper Beninati, Jack Gibilterra, Javier Lopez, Jayden Hernandez, Jesus Finol, Jorge Urdaneta, Vincenzo Versace, and Sammy Jones.
Richard shares with Coral Springs Talk that the boys’ hard work has always been met halfway by the remarkable support of the Coral Springs community, which was instrumental in the team’s fundraising success.
She says between local businesses that have generously contributed to the Cooperstown cause and some hosting special events where a portion of sales donated to the boys’ trip, the journey to this point has been much more fulfilling than being able to book the boy’s plane tickets and hotel accommodations.
“The fundraising was important, but the verbal support has been just as amazing,” Richard said.
“At our Publix fundraisers, the boys met complete strangers and heard wonderful stories when locals tell us of their experiences 10 or 20 years ago at Cooperstown.”
Raising $25,000 seemed daunting initially, but as time progressed, their collective efforts made reaching the goal much less eventful than expected, according to Richard.
“The team has come together and worked well together. Every boy has helped in their way to make it happen.”
With their departure to Cooperstown drawing near, Richard shares the boys are brimming with excitement and anticipation but that their primary goal is to cherish every moment and create lasting memories.
“We aren’t going in with too many expectations except to have the time of our lives and to create memories to last a lifetime,” Richard said.
“This is on the bucket list for most 12-year-old boys who play baseball. Win or lose in the tournament, the trip to Cooperstown will be amazing.”
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiple outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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