Apr 19, 2016
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A dozen local youth sports teams and leagues received a combined $14,070 from Richmond Mayor Tom Butt’s Community Fund, the mayor’s office announced Tuesday.

The mayor re-launched the grant program last year to support community needs not otherwise met by the city or other donors. Funds were raised at the Mayor’s Golf Tournament in September and also through corporate sponsors Chevron, Laconia Development, Pacific Infinity Group, RBC Capital Markets and Republic Services.

The 12 sports teams and leagues receiving grant funding are listed below this article. The funds will pay for a wide variety of needs including equipment, tournament registration and airline tickets for youth attending the College World Series in Nebraska. The Nebraska trip involves youth with Wheelhouse Academy of Baseball. The program just returned from an enriching trip to Cuba, where they won 4-1 against a talented Cuban team.

The Mayor’s Community Fund grant will help pay for the team’s next trip to the College World Series. The players, seven of whom are Richmond residents, are headed on a 6-day trip that includes campus tours and full immersion in the Division I championship series.

“The purpose of this trip is to expose them to college life with the hopes that they will make the choice to pursue higher education themselves,” said Shiva Gaskins, Director of the Academy.

Mayor Butt touted the value of youth programs in the community.

“In addition to being enjoyable, participating in youth sports gives kids an opportunity to learn structure, engage in physical activity, enjoy interacting with other youth, develop valuable life skills like teamwork and sportsmanship, and improve their physical and mental health,”  the mayor said in a statement.

In January, local sports organizations were asked to apply for the Mayor’s Community Fund. Grant awards ranged from $500 to $2,000 and recipients were chosen by a steering committee of community representatives, according to the mayor’s office.

The Richmond Community Foundation served as fiscal sponsor of the Mayor’s Community Fund.

The following organizations and teams received grants:

Contra Costa County Service Integration Family Service Center – Baseball League

EM Downer Family YMCA – Multiple Sports

Hilltop Family YMCA – Tae Kwon Do

Multi-Cultural Family Resource Center at Crescent Park – Martial Arts

Richmond Swims

Richmond Tennis Association

Richmond United Soccer Club

RPAL – Little League and Girl’s Softball Team

The East Bay Soldiers – Basketball

The First Tee of Contra Costa – Golf

Totally Led Ministries – Basketball

Wheelhouse Academy of Baseball

Photo from the Wheelhouse Academy of Baseball program’s trip to Cuba, originally posted on the organization’s Facebook page.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.