Home runs to raise money to help the homeless

Harford Family House presents its 5th Annual Harford Mutual Home Runs for the Homeless event at Ripken Stadium on Sept. 24.

Teams of four can have a "real baseball experience," changing in the team locker room, taking batting practice in the batting cage and sitting in the dugout. Most exciting of all, each player will bat from home plate in Ripken Stadium, with 15 pitches to try to hit a home run. The players' names will be announced as they bat, with play-by-play commentary as their photo appears on the giant scoreboard. Last year's champion, Maryland Mutual, will be defending its title and the right to house the coveted trophy for another year.

Five law-enforcement teams from Aberdeen, Havre de Grace, the Harford County Sheriff's Union, Bel Air and the Maryland Transportation Authority Union will compete for the "Officers Cup, a new division of our event.

The team with the overall longest yardage will "win" the event and be presented with a trophy that will reside with them for one year. An awards celebration, free to batters, will be held after the event, starting at 6:30 p.m., in the upper deck at Ripken Stadium. Other guests may attend the awards ceremony at a cost of $35 each.

New this year, Jones Junction has sponsored a $500 cash prize which a player can win by hitting a specific target placed in the stadium. Saxon's Jewelers has donated a Citizen's sports watch which will be raffled off at the awards ceremony.

Who says Republicans and Democrats can't work together? From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. local politicians, police chiefs and others will "Make a Splash for the Homeless" in the dunking booth. Maryland Del. Glen Glass, Harford County Councilmen Dion Guthrie and Richard Slutzky, Havre de Grace Mayor Wayne Dougherty and Havre de Grace Police Chief Teresa Walter and others will "get dunked " for our cause.

Harford Family House is celebrating its 24th year of service to homeless families with children. Last year Harford Family House had an 80 percent success rate in transitioning families from homelessness to self sufficiency. Harford Family's one-year transitional housing program provides safe, decent housing and the support services necessary to move families from homelessness and hopelessness to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. And it is the only shelter in Harford County that can serve an intact family consisting of a father, mother and children.

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