PT freshmen donate funds to find missing children

Published Jul 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm (Updated Jul 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm)

When the Peters Township freshman baseball team set out to raise funds for its program, the ninth-graders did what most other athletic clubs do: they held a car wash.

However, instead of using their $900 profits for their own needs, the freshmen donated the funds to the BairFind Organization. In addition, the squad also collected donations at a recent recreation game and solicited door-to-door through the neighborhoods to raise an additional $1,850 for the cause.

The organization prints and distributes sporting team photos that include a missing child’s picture and biographical information. The various teams featured in the pictures stage autograph sessions before or after a game, with the hope that fans will retain the photos, and keep the missing child fresh in their memory.

In fact, the foundation had featured Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus, two of the women rescued in Cleveland back in April. It has also featured 18 missing children who have been reunited with their loved ones.

The idea for the organization was the brainchild of the Indians’ coach, Dennis Bair. He was a former minor-league pitcher, who played in the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks organizations before coming to Peters Township.

“Coach Bair has made such an impression on the young men in the Peters baseball program,” said Yvonne Kemp, whose son, Boomer, played on the freshman team.

Bair is all about children and helping them. In fact, his 501(c)(3) non-profit organization’s goal is getting the public involved in the search for missing children.

“We do this through attaining high-profile and long-term visibility of missing children’s profiles and spreading awareness about the problem and how the public can get involved in the solution. We built the foundation on the simple philosophy that “more eyes looking means more children found.”

Today at Peters Township, there are 32 more eyes open and watching as Bair’s boys, including 15 players and his assistant in the coaching department, J.R. Gardner.

In addition to Kemp, the team includes Will Lusk, Ryan Frizzell, Tony McElroy, Matthew Waigand, Michael Magiske, Adam Jaworski, Brody Cararie, Jake Pisarcik, Ryan Page, Connor Schmidt, Nick Petrarca, Josh Hilzendeger, Frank Arcurie and Todd Hjerpe.

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