Charity camp features athletes for a good cause

Nearly 100 kids from across the metro participated

FARGO, N.D. — “I started t-ball probably when I was 4, and I never stopped from there. I hope I can keep playing it, maybe in college a little bit. It’d be fun. I really like playing baseball,” says 15-year-old Abram Anderson of Fargo.

Anderson says he’s loved baseball ever since he can remember.

So you can imagine his excitement, joined with nearly a hundred other kids from across the metro, when they got to spend some time with a few major-leaguers.

“It’s not too often where a kid gets to meet a pro-athlete and have a conversation with them, so I want them to take in something that they’ll never forget,” says Fargo Youth Baseball President Alex Sumner.

It’s all a part of the Fargo Youth Baseball and Salvation Army charity camp.

The collaboration between the two organizations allows kids to get some tips and tricks from professional players like Erik Swanson of the Seattle Mariners, Mike Lang of the Saint Paul Saints and Andy Young of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

But these families didn’t have to shell out a ton of money for a chance to hang with the pros.

Instead, the only way into the camp is by simply making a donation to the Salvation Army.

“If you can give back, warm other people’s hearts, and then incorporate the sport with it, it means a lot. Not only to our organization, to families and to the families that are receiving the donated goods,” says Sumner.

The donations are kept at the Salvation Army’s community closets and donated at Family Stores.

The proceeds are used to fund the Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those struggling with drugs and alcohol can find help and hope.

“The community in Fargo is amazing. Since we’ve been here, we’ve seen how people care for each other and want to work together, and that’s what makes a community great. It’s partnerships and working together to end things like hunger or homelessness. We’re not going to do it by ourselves, but together,” says Salvation Army Capt. Shane Jensen.

“I can remember a day when I was doing camps like this, and I was a young kid looking up to Darin Erstad as the world, and it’s weird being on the other side of it, but I guess my message is, I mean, it’s possible, you know. It is possible to get inside and get better and kind of strive to reach your goals,” says Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Andy Young.

They hope the camp teaches kids how to become better athletes as well as how to better serve their communities.

This is the first charity camp being hosted at Fargo Youth Baseball, but event organizers say they hope to grow it even more in the coming years.

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