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Brandon Parks & Recreation and Rise 2 Greatness Foundation Empower Youth Through Weekend of Baseball and Softball Opportunities


Free Instructional Camp and Exclusive Combine Benefit Local Athletes of Brandon and Jackson Area

JACKSON, Miss.Jan. 20, 2024 /7Newswire — The Rise 2 Greatness Foundation (R2G Foundation), in association with Sports Facilities Companies (SFC), the City of Brandon, and Brandon Parks and Recreation, successfully carried out its mission to inspire, support, and create a pathway for underserved and poverty-stricken children within America’s most at-risk communities. Their collaborative initiative hosted a free Rise 2 Greatness youth baseball/softball camp on Friday, December 15, 2023, at Shiloh Park in Brandon, Mississippi, and an invitation-only combine on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at Jackson State University Baseball Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.

The camp, attended by over 400 children from Brandon and Jackson, provided a unique baseball and softball experience under the guidance of local players and Major League Baseball veterans. Each child received gear and equipment, including a glove, a camp t-shirt, a swag bag with a signed Rawlings baseball, and a wiffle bat and ball set, all at no cost.

“Brandon Parks and Recreation is honored to have been selected as one of the locations for the Rise 2 Greatness camp and combine,” said Brandon Parks and Recreation General Manager, Jennifer Byrd. “This exciting event greatly benefits the underserved children of our area by allowing them the opportunity to learn the sport of baseball through former MLB players. For the older participants, it’s a chance to showcase their skills in front of college scouts. Thousands of youth are positively impacted through this wonderful organization, and we are humbled to have been chosen to host an event that will impact so many lives in our community.”

On December 16, the R2G Foundation held one of its first invite-only combines for up to 150 athletes from the Brandon and Jackson area at the Jackson State University Baseball Stadium. This event provided exposure for minority and underserved players aged 10-17, who showcased their skills to professional scouts and college coaches. Participants also received a scouting report from R2G Foundation’s professional scouting team.

Support from multiple partners, including Sports Facilities Companies, the City of Brandon, Brandon Parks and Recreation, Skillshow, Goatnet, New Balance, Minority Baseball Prospects, Mentoring Viable Prospects, The Sandlot, Subway, Little Caesers, and Buffalo Wild Wings, made these events possible. They all share R2G Foundation’s commitment to grow the sports of baseball and softball.

The R2G Foundation, formerly known as The Perfect Game Cares Foundation, continued its efforts to foster baseball and softball playing opportunities for children across the nation. The Jerry Ford Grow the Game Fund, a significant part of the R2G Foundation, expanded its reach into Mississippi with a focus on removing economic barriers that inhibit children from experiencing the joy of playing baseball and softball.

“Great things happen when like-minded people come together to help,” said Rise 2 Greatness Executive Director Jennifer Ford. “We continue to be amazed by the unwavering support and partnership of Sports Facilities Companies, and we look forward to future joint endeavors. The commitment of those working in the amateur space of Brandon and Jackson is awe-inspiring, and we look forward to continuing to Grow the Game in these communities.”

The Jerry Ford Grow the Game Fund thrives on generous donations from corporate partners and individuals passionate about removing barriers that stand between children from underserved communities and their chance to fall in love with baseball and softball.

“Anyone with a heart can’t help but love the hundreds of young kids we see when holding our Grow the Game camps,” said Perfect Game and Rise 2 Greatness Founder, Jerry Ford. “These children are extremely talented. They truly deserve every opportunity to become successful in life, which is why we have expanded our programming to include a combined series that provides exposure for minority and underserved athletes. That is our mission at Rise 2 Greatness. It takes a small army to make this happen, and we can’t thank everyone involved enough.”

For more information about the Rise 2 Greatness Foundation and the Jerry Ford Grow the Game Fund, please visit www.Rise2Greatness.org.

About Brandon Parks and Recreation

The City of Brandon Parks & Recreation Department (a part of the SF Network) which is managed by Sports Facilities Companies (SFC), serves youth & adults in various athletic & non-athletic programs. Brandon’s parks offer locals and visiting sports tourists multiple options to stay active, including seventeen diamonds, eleven multi-purpose fields, a splash pad, playgrounds, and trails.