Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Louisville Slugger Goes to Bat for USA Cares

LOUISVILLE, KY — Louisville Slugger, the historic baseball bat company announced it will begin producing the first ever "All American Bat" in support of Operation Slugger II, the second such effort led by USA Cares to provide sporting goods equipment to U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The red, white and blue full-size Louisville Slugger bat is available at Slugger Gifts, at USA Cares USA Cares Web site and at select locations across the country.

In 2005, Louisville Slugger and its parent company, Hillerich and Bradsby Co., partnered with USA Cares to collect more than 13 and a half tons of new and used sporting equipment, which was shipped to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide a morale boost.

Now, new troops can benefit from this equipment. The goal Operation Slugger II is to compile 600 complete kits with a value of about $800,000.

"We have continued to receive requests from the troops for equipment to help fill in the down time, and seeing the generosity of America last time, it was an easy decision to help develop Slugger II, “ said John A. Hillerich IV, president and CEO. “Our support will continue for as long as it is needed.”

Proceeds from the limited edition bat will provide support to the mission of USA Cares and Slugger II. Bats will sell for $60, plus shipping and handling.

Louisville Slugger is the official bat of Major League Baseball and is a name that is synonymous with America's pastime. Louisville Slugger bats have been used by the greatest players in baseball, including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, and Hank Aaron. Louisville Slugger also makes TPX baseball equipment for college, high school, and youth players, as well as equipment for slow-pitch and fast-pitch softball players. Louisville Slugger is a brand of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co., a fourth generation family-owned business.

USA Cares is a worldwide charitable organization serving military service members and their families with direction, advice and grant assistance for quality of life issues caused by military service. To date, USA Cares has received requests from over 6,000 service members and families with more than $3 million dollars in organizational and found resources granted.

This is a nice example of a company partnering with a non-profit to better the lives of US troops serving abroad. Perhaps other businesses will follow their lead and lend a hand as well.

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