Beetles help build Habitat homesSpring training is getting under way and baseball lovers across the country are gearing up for another summer celebrating America’s pastime. Here in Douglas County, the Northwoods League and the Alexandria Beetles are stepping up to the plate for their community.
Spring training is getting under way and baseball lovers across the country are gearing up for another summer celebrating America’s pastime.
Here in Douglas County, the Northwoods League and the Alexandria Beetles are stepping up to the plate for their community.
Members of the Alexandria Beetles have joined Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County (HFHDC) in building homes for families in need of simple, decent and affordable housing.
On their volunteer days, they can be seen at the build site at 8:30 a.m. and on the ball diamond later that evening.
“It has been fun to see a new generation of volunteers joining us on the build site,” said Julie Klopp, HFHDC volunteer coordinator. “It has been wonderful to have them as partners in our mission, and to see them grow as individuals and as ballplayers.”
Last fall, Shawn Reilly, owner and general manager of the Alexandria Beetles, saw an opportunity to further the partnership through the Northwoods League Foundation. The foundation provided a grant of $1,500 to HFHDC in support of their work and in support of the players’ community involvement.
“Our players have really enjoyed working with Habitat for Humanity each summer,” said Reilly. “I am very pleased that the NWL Foundation was able to contribute locally to help the Alexandria community.”
Great things continue to happen for the Beetles, and the 2012 season should see more great things, Reilly noted. Since the first season in 2001, attendance has risen and the level of talent on the field has set new precedents year after year.
The Beetles enjoyed their most successful year on the field in 2011, winning a franchise record 44 games, the most in the Northwoods League in 2011.
The team used a league record breaking second half to propel them into the NWL playoffs for just the second time in team history (first playoff in 2003). The Beetles took on the Mankato MoonDogs in the north division playoff series and went to an exciting game three before losing a close one.
There have been many former Beetles that have continued on in the world of professional baseball. Notable former players who have gone on to play in professional baseball include: Jeremy Accardo (Giants/Blue Jays/Orioles), Carlos Muniz (Mets), Josh Newman (Rockies/Royals), Nick Hundley (Padres), Danny Worth (Tigers), Casey Coleman (Cubs), Lucas Duda (Mets), and 2011 World Series standout Allen Craig (Cardinals).
Building ballplayers, building homes and building communities – is proving to be a winning combination for Alexandria, according to HFHDC leaders.
For more information on the Alexandria Beetles and the Northwoods League, visit www.alexandriabeetles.com or www.northwoodsleague.com.
Find out more about how you can help to build homes in our community by visiting www.hfhdouglascounty.org.