A cool 85 degrees in the middle of a Texas heat wave in August made it the perfect night for baseball. Buckner children and families from three nonprofit programs in Amarillo enjoyed a baseball game before the new school year began. It was Marvel-themed superhero night with the Amarillo Sod Poodles, and Buckner had a big part during the whole ballgame against the Corpus Christi Hooks!
Hodgetown, the home of the Sod Poodles, is nestled in the center of downtown and opened in 2019. With Buckner serving children, youth aging out of foster care, and families in more than 25 counties in the Texas Panhandle, the Amarillo Sod Poodles ballgame gave clients in the surrounding areas an opportunity to come together and fellowship. Hodgetown is a family-friendly venue with lots of fun children’s activities within its ballpark, so it was a wonderful night for all who came.
In-game baseball experience for nonprofit clients in Amarillo
The first pitch was thrown out by a Buckner FYi alum, Abigail Leal. FYi is a Buckner program designed to help youth aging out of foster care. Abigail did a great job getting the ball straight to home plate in the catcher’s mitt to start the thrilling game.
Three children from Buckner Family Pathways®, a program for single parents and children, participated during the game in fun activities like the glass puzzle, a matching game and “Name That Marvel Character.” What a memory to see oneself on the big screen at a professional baseball park! The even cooler part was going on the actual ball field to play the games.
Christine Bollinger, Buckner Amarillo foster care home developer, knocked two in-person interviews out of the park. Christine’s first interview aired on the big screens at Hodgetown where she shared information about what Buckner International is, the local needs for foster care and adoption, and how the community can get involved to help vulnerable children in Amarillo. Christine’s second interview aired on local radio to help spread the word about the needs for children in the surrounding area.
You can’t go to a baseball game and not have delicious ballpark food! Children and families enjoyed hot dogs, chips and drinks and watched an amazing firework show at the end of the game. After coming back from behind to tie the score, the Sod Poodles hit a homerun in the ninth inning to win the game. What a fun time for all.
Kids are superheroes campaign educates about children’s strengths
Throughout the game, Buckner promoted its “Kids are Superheroes” campaign. Buckner believes kids have many strengths they may not realize or that they must learn because of adversity in their young lives. We want people to know it takes a lot of super strength to persevere through hard times, and we see children do this every day. It’s truly inspiring … but also a lot of hard work. This is why families are so important. When parents are strong, children grow up confident and strong.