ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Bomb, long ball, round-tripper, dinger, four-bagger, going yard. Those are just a few of the ways to say home run. If the bases are loaded you can add grand slam or grand …
ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — Bomb, long ball, round-tripper, dinger, four-bagger, going yard. Those are just a few of the ways to say home run. If the bases are loaded you can add grand slam or grand salami.
The Robertsdale High School softball team is hoping to get more than a few of those on Wednesday, July 5, proceeds of which will go to help local missionary the Rev. Dr. Joe Savage bring girls over from Emmanuel House in Moldova to spend time here in Baldwin County.
Rising senior Annaleigh Ash said a chance meeting between some of the players and Savage led to the derby.
“We were at the coffee shop (The Coffee Loft in Fairhope),” Ash said.
Savage was a former minister to one of the players, senior Daisy Finley, Ash said, and just happened to be at the Coffee Loft at the same time.
“He came up and was asking our advice about doing a video,” she said. “He was telling us about Emmanuel House and about bringing girls over for a visit. He wanted to take them to Mr. Gene’s Beans and asked us about shooting a video in front.”
Savage then started telling the players about Emmanuel House.
“Two out of three orphaned girls in Moldova are sold into human trafficking and prostitution,” he said. “Statistics show that they have over 6,000 sexual encounters and are dead within seven years.”
At the age of 15, orphans can no longer be a part of the state-run orphanage, Savage said, so he has started a program called Emmanuel House that houses orphans once they turn 15, (or any age) and gives them schooling, a family environment and teaches them about love they haven't gotten.
Located near the town of Chisinau in the tiny country of Moldova in Eastern Europe, Emmanuel House was started in 2013 to rescue 15 to 21-year-old girls from dangerous situations.
Emmanuel House is an initiative of Projects That Matter Inc., a registered 501 ( c) 3 nonprofit organization licensed in the state of Alabama. All donations are tax-deductible.
For more information on Emmanuel House visit ehouseforgirls.org.
“Two percent of orphans go to college, we want to help reward and help some of these girls come over to the United States to further education and experience the world in a way they haven't,” Savage told the girls.
The cost to bring one girl over is $2,500, including a plane ticket, insurance, visas, passports and other expenses.
Savage asked for their help with the video, but the players decided that they wanted to do more.
“Our team alone could bring a girl over so we want to do a homerun derby challenge,” Finley said. “How many home runs can you hit and how many orphans can we bring over? Each team could bring a girl over.”
The home run derby is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Robertsdale High School varsity softball field and will run until the last player has hit, said Coach Barry Roberts.
“You can do machine pitch, we’ll send a pitcher out, or you can throw it up in the air to hit it, whatever you want. We just want people to hit home runs,” Roberts said. “We’ll even move home plate if we have to. I’m not above bending the rules to bring in more money.”
Pledges will be taken for each home run hit, or you don’t have to hit home runs. You can make pledges for hits into the outfield, either to right field, center field or left field.
“Whatever you can give will be appreciated,” said Ash.
Sponsorships are available and if you would like to be a sponsor, you can contact Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We already have commitments from the Robertsdale Rotary Club and Baldwin EMC,” Roberts said. “We also have an anonymous donor who has pledged $100 for the first home run hit and $100 for the last home run hit.”
RHS is also challenging other schools to participate in the derby.
“The more people who can come out to support our cause the better,” Ash said. “We just want to do whatever we can to help out.”
The derby is part of the RHS softball team’s commitment to do a service project every summer, Roberts said. Last year the team delivered goodie bags to the Robertsdale, Loxley and Silverhill police departments, and to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.