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Detroit PAL raises $30k for youth sports programs at Corporate Baseball Challenge

Employees of six corporations gathered Tuesday at the Corner Ballpark, where Detroit PAL hosted its third annual Corporate Baseball Challenge.

PAL’s goal of raising $30,000 for its Diamond Sports programs, which include tee ball, softball and baseball was reached after participating companies donated $5,000 toward the effort.

GM Financial, BridgeWater Interiors, Ernst & Young, Delta Dental of Michigan, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and Marathon Petroleum employees put their athletic abilities to the test in hitting, fielding, pitching and running events.

“Having staff members from six different corporate companies at the Corner Ballpark compete against each other in a series of baseball competitions is amazing because their support goes a long way in providing nearly 15,000 youth with opportunities to participate in one of our 12 different athletic programs and our several youth enrichments programs," said Joe Smith, Youth Enrichment Coordinator at Detroit PAL.

Volunteer players from each company were met by players from Schoolcraft Community College’s baseball team inside of a batting cage to earn points based on their ability to hit line drives accurately.

They were also able to showcase their abilities in distance hitting and fielding. The further a player hit the ball, the more points they earned. Other teams that were in the field catching were able to gather points by making plays in the field.

Players got to test how accurate their throwing skills were by pitching at a target 30 feet away.

Detroit PAL is a nonprofit organization designed to help youths find their greatness through athletic, academic , and leadership development programs.

“We’re a community organization so we thrive from the support of the corporations and companies in the greater Detroit area and beyond," interim CEO Fred Hunter said. "For us this is perfect because it brings corporations together, gives them the opportunity to be on the historic Tigers Stadium field and their contributions help us do what we do to help youth find their greatness in the city of Detroit."

Each team that participated also included a Detroit police officer as a team member. After a full day of play Ernst & Young was crowned champion and left the field with bragging rights for the second year in a row. 

“It was a great event, and it was certainly cool to win. More importantly, it felt really good knowing that we were supporting such a tremendous cause and for me personally, helping to share my love for the game of baseball with the youth of Detroit,” said John Butler, technology consultant at Ernst & Young.

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