Going to the ball park to watch the Mud Hens take the field is only a dream for some kids.
These kids might not have the chance to catch pop up fly balls, giggle at the antics of Muddy and Muddonna or cheer with gusto for the hometown team because they can't buy a ticket.
To make sure that children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the thrills at Fifth Third Field, the Toledo Mud Hens created the Helping Hens Fund through the Toledo Community Foundation's Center for Corporate & Business Philanthropy.
The Mud Hens turned to the Foundation to provide administrative and financial services to their giving program. Learn more about the type of funds the Foundation offers corporations and businesses and how we can free up some of your valuable time.
"We love kids at the park and we get numerous requests for tickets from children's organizations in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The Helping Hens Fund allows us to give free tickets to deserving kids -- many whom have never been to the park before and who can't afford a ticket," explains Joe Napoli, Mud Hens Vice President and General Manager.
"We know the baseball and entertainment business but we certainly don't know the best way to manage a charitable fund. The Foundation is the expert in that field and it has helped us meet our giving intentions," he says.
Donations made to Muddy's Knot Hole Club by individuals or businesses are now part of the Fund. "In the past these donations were made directly to the Club.
"Now that donations to the Knot Hole Club go to the Helping Hens Fund, donors receive a tax advantage. It's a winning transaction for the donor, the Mud Hens and especially the kids who get to come to the park," says Joe.
Since the new stadium opened, requests for free tickets for children have increased dramatically. "To keep up with the demand it was taking more and more time. Now all of the administrative details from investing the funds, writing checks, and sending letters to deserving organizations is handled by the professionals at the Foundation.
"Whenever we have a question, the Foundation has an answer. It is an excellent organization and has a great reputation with a board of respected community leaders," he adds.
"The Foundation does all the work for us but we still make recommendations for our charitable donations. The letters we get back from the kids are amazing and make us appreciate the importance of youth to our community.
"Through our partnership with the Foundation, we can concentrate on baseball and the Foundation takes care of all of the details to get more kids to the park," concludes Joe.