Local high school baseball players will be able to help underprivileged children in the community on Saturday, March 4, when they play in the second annual Children's Fund Classic to be held at AT&T Field in Chattanooga, Tenn.
According to Dr. Lamar Brown, director of student services for Catoosa County Schools, the event began last year and was a huge success.
"It raised a lot of money for the Catoosa County Children's Fund, which I'm a board member of," Brown said.
The Children's Fund was created to provide Catoosa County school children and families with short-term needs such as food, clothing, shelter, dental and medical care, educational related supplies or fees, or short-term emergency needs in an effort to develop their physical, mental, and emotional health and welfare.
The inaugural Classic last year was a big hit and gave players the chance to play in a professional stadium like AT&T Field, which is the home of the minor league's Chattanooga Lookouts.
"Teams are excited to be a part of it," Brown said. "Last year were some of the highest attended games in AT&T Field history, and some of the largest crowds ever to see high school baseball games."
Last year's classic included two games featuring LFO, Gordon Lee, Heritage, and Southeast Whitfield high schools.,
This year's event will see LFO, Heritage, and Gordon Lee again in the fold, as well as Northwest Whitfield, Ringgold, and Ridgeland high schools.
Notable players involved in the games include Ringgold High School junior outfielder Andre Tarver, who is currently committed to play collegiately at Mississippi State; Heritage High School junior pitcher Cole Wilcox, who has been selected for the 2017 Under Armour All-American Game to be played at Chicago's Wrigley Field; and Georgia Dugout Preview All-state players Rhett Baldwin of Ringgold High School and Ethan Clark and Chaney Rogers of Gordon Lee High School.
In addition to the three games played, the event will include a silent auction, with all of the proceeds going to the Children's Fund.
"All of it goes to the kids and their families," Brown said. "Donations, concessions, ticket sales, the silent auction ... it'll all be put towards the Children's Fund."
Brown says some of the silent auction items include autographed memorabilia from Hall of Fame baseball players Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, as well a Sky Box tickets to the Chattanooga Lookouts and other items.
"We're still looking for people and businesses to make contributions," Brown said.
Tickets to the event are $5 for the entire day and can be purchased at the Catoosa County Sheriff's Department, the Catoosa County Board of Education building, or in the guidance offices of any of the participating high schools.
The action will kickoff at 11 a.m., with gates slated to open at 10 a.m.
Schedule of games
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School vs. Ridgeland High School at 11 a.m.
Ringgold High School vs. Northwest Whitfield High School at 1:30 p.m.
Heritage High School vs. Gordon Lee High School at 4 p.m.