Challenge Accepted: Pro Athlete Employees Give Back

Baseball season is upon us and that means the YMCA Challenger baseball program is in full swing too. This year marks the tenth year of the YMCA Challenger Program. For six weeks, athletes from around Kansas City come to the Fred and Shirley Pryor Sports Complex to learn about the game, hang out with friends, and get on the field and play.

So, it seemed like another great season was coming up, and then something truly special happened. A “challenge” was issued to the employees of Pro Athlete to come out and volunteer as buddies for the baseball season. We had a few employees who volunteered in the past, but that was about it. Then, just like that, twelve Pro Athlete employees volunteered to help.

What made this so cool was that those twelve first-time volunteers were able to give back and create even stronger bonds with their coworkers at the same time. The twelve employees were all buddies on the same team. How cool is that?

This year we were in gold jerseys with our favorite baseball bat company logo on the back. No, not Dick’s Sporting Goods. JustBats.com! The athletes always get to pick the team name, and there have been some doozies. After a close vote, the team selected their name to be the Suns.

It doesn’t get much better than playing baseball with kids for six weeks. On behalf of all the volunteers from Pro Athlete, we want to thank the YMCA for giving us this opportunity to meet such amazing and talented players and strong parents and family members. While many of the parents told us how important our efforts were to their kids and themselves, we feel like we were the fortunate ones to get to meet them all.

We thank all of these kids for teaching us so much and for their strength and resiliency.

Twelve employees set out to help teach baseball to some kids once a week and what they found was a life-changing experience, establishment of new relationships, and life-long memories. It just goes to show the power of giving back. You go in thinking you are going to help change the lives of others and you come out with your life changed in the most positive way possible!

Thank you to the Suns for the awesome shirt that we will be putting up in our office soon. We have some cool signed memorabilia in our office from famous athletes, but this one ranks up at the top!

And yes, in the video when we did our final team huddle, we did say Banana Bread, you heard it right. Lauren got to pick what we said!!!!!