The Youth Baseball Fund was established in 2000 by longtime youth baseball coach Larry Britegam of Salina. As a coach, he saw many families who struggled with the financial demands of organized sports, and he wanted to do something to help. This fund provides support for local youth who want to participate in baseball but are limited by a lack of funds.
“Throughout my 30 years of coaching and my involvement in the Salina community, I saw countless examples of kids who didn’t participate because of the lack of finances,” said Britegam. “My goal was to help stop that and, at the same time memorialize those who had similar beliefs as I did, with an annual fund drive from individuals and businesses in our community.”
Early gifts to the baseball fund came from memorials from family and friends of former coaches Lowell Letourneau and Larry Caldwell. Additional memorial gifts have been received in memory of Dean Evans,
Jack Britegam, John Moshier, Jack Parr, Harold Frazier and Ben Breault, all men who loved the game.
“Dean Evans was a great inspiration to me as a human being, as a coach, with helping kids and taking ownership of raising money in our community to help others,” Britegam said. “Not only have we helped kids individually, but we’ve helped the Knights of Columbus Baseball Program, purchased equipment for
the City of Salina, and sponsored teams for St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church. I’m very proud of the work
we are doing with this fund.”
Since the fund was started, $49,144.30 has been granted to benefit thousands of children with the
purchase of equipment for the Knights of Columbus and City leagues, as well 180 youth whose families could not afford to pay. Youth baseball grants may be used to cover registration fees, tournament fees, equipment, uniforms and clinics.
“This fund truly has an impact on the kids that love baseball and need some financial help to participate,” said local baseball coach Jason Wells. “While most of these kids will never earn a baseball scholarship, they may create experiences and friendships they will remember the rest of their lives.”