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Winnebago 9U travel baseball team raises money for park district

Published: Jul. 7, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO, Ill. (WIFR) -A travel baseball team full of nine-year-olds is on track to win their sixth consecutive tournament. It’s something that’s become the standard for the Bison Outlaws, but coaches and players say there is a bigger win on their minds.

“Us coaches have talked a lot to the kids about core values and building sportsmanship and giving back to the community,” Bison Outlaws coach Grant Rundblade said.

For the Bison Outlaws, the diamond is a place for fun with friends, but to take it a step further the group decided to raise money for the Winnebago Park District.

“My name is Aaron Rundblade and I play for the 9U Bison Outlaw team,” Bison Outlaw player Aaron Rundblade said in his fundraising video. “We are raising money to give back to a local community baseball program by selling ten spots on a towel.”

Each player on the team made a video for their fans, asking them to purchase a spot on their number one fan towel. Every last cent went back to the Winnebago Park District.

“I don’t think they understand how far $1,200 is going to go,” Winnebago Park District Executive Director Michelle Cunningham said. “It’s definitely going to help for a good two years.”

Nine of the kids on the team are from Winnebago, which made the park district an easy choice for the donation. Coach Rundblade says the goal was to teach the kids a valuable lesson.

“The core values and life lessons we teach these kids are bigger than baseball,” Rundblade said.

The group of nine-year-olds has won five straight tournaments, but the players say the donation outweighs the trophies.

“We get to raise money and help the district get them what they need,” Bison Outlaws player Eli Oberbroeckling said.

“Some of the money is definitely going to go to improving the field, buying bases, purchase some helmets that will actually fit our kids,” Cunningham said. “We have some outdated bats and tees and whatnot.”

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