HARVARD -- Over the winter, the Bromfield baseball team underwent a complete overhaul. The Trojans named a new head coach in Fred McDonald and the team appeared to be heading in a new direction. McDonald's aim was to restore the pride and prestige of the Bromfield program.
The only way McDonald and his staff could achieve this goal was by rebuilding from the ground up. After each home game, the players perform all the field maintenance, and make sure that the pitcher's mound has the proper plane to it.
The community stepped up to the plate and provided the Trojans with a loan to help offset the costs of purchasing new equipment. "We had four baseballs when the season started," said McDonald. "All the batting helmets and catcher's equipment were all broken."
The Bromfield varsity and middle school baseball programs jointly conducted a camp for members of Harvard Little League during spring vacation to raise money for the program.
In addition to the money raised by the camp, the Trojans sold coupon books with discounts to local businesses such as Dairy Queen and Harvard General Store.
McDonald was impressed with the Harvard community's willingness to purchase the books and help the program.
"The boys worked the camp for four days," said McDonald. "We ended up making $4,300 off the $20 tickets we sold. One kid sold 56 tickets alone. For every coupon sold, $10 went back to the program."
The Bromfield baseball program held an event early in the season to recognize the top sellers of the coupon books. It was a great team-building experience for the Trojans, said McDonald.
"For the kids who sold 40 tickets, they could reach into a paper bag full of crushed up dollar bills five times," said McDonald. "Everybody was screaming and yelling. One kid pulled out $90. The kids who sold over 20 tickets got a Bromfield sweatshirt with their name on the back. This is our first one (fundraising event) but I have already signed up for it again next year."While selling the coupon books, varsity players Ethan Sprague and Zane Atwood encountered Bob Voelk.
"Bob Voelk saw the kids selling the fundraiser tickets and told them he had a batting cage and pitching machine," said McDonald. "The boys (Sprague and Atwood) told me. I got my son and went out to Andover and got it. The cage is worth $4,500 and the pitching machine is worth around $1,500."
Needless to say, the donation and Voelk's generosity were greatly appreciated.
Not only did the Trojans inherit a nice piece of training equipment, they were even offered a place to store it. The Harvard Highway Department volunteered a space in its barn for the batting cage and pitching machine to rest during the off-season.
"We have had a lot of backing from the community," said McDonald. "I knew the community would help, but the outpour was exceptional."
The Bromfield baseball team would also like to thank Harvard Little League for the loan they provided, which helped offset the cost of purchasing new equipment. In today's society, everyone has to stretch whatever money they have.
The same holds true for local high school sports teams.
If you would like to make a donation to the 'Friends of Bromfield Baseball fund' contact coach McDonald via email at firstname.lastname@example.org