It’s a few kicks, runs and fun for a good cause.
This weekend marked the seventh year for the NEXTGen Detroit event called “Pitch for Detroit.” It’s a kickball tournament that raises money for local charities.
At the time of this posting the groups are still playing games, but the goal is to raise $20,000. In the past six years they’ve raised more than $250,000 for causes within the city of Detroit.
“It’s an event that the community is very passionate about,” said Gabe Scharg, one of the Pitch for Detroit 2017 chairs. “People continue to show excitement year-after-year.”
This year several hundred are expected to lace up their cleats and take part in events. Each team registers for $25, and players are urged to attempt to raise at least $100.
The money from the 2017 event will go toward MACC Development. Currently MACC Development is developing a lot along the Mack corridor — the park has been fixed up over the past three to four months, but the final piece of the puzzle will be funded by Pitch Detroit. With the money raised at the kickball event a children’s park and a stage will be built on the property.
“I think projects like these are really important because they push this idea of people coming together and saying, ‘Hey, lets dream about what our community can really be,’” said Ezekiel Harris, the executive Director of MACC Development.
Harris said his team was so excited about the event that they volunteered to field a team before they were even picked as the finalist for the money.
“We actually got really excited about the idea of playing kickball to raise funds.”
The one-day tournament has grown by leaps and bounds over the past several years.
Launched in 2010, Pitch for Detroit is the brainchild of NEXTGen Detroit. Typically the non-profit does work in the communities surrounding Detroit, but despite the fact that the group is a nonprofit themselves they made the decision years ago to give back to the city.
The kickball action continues until 4:30 p.m. Sunday night -- at the time of this posting the games are underway. Parking costs $5 per vehicle.
Those who attend the game will have the opportunity to watch kickball, and snack on food from GreedSpace Cafe and Jerusalem Pizza — both of which are setting up food trucks at the Wayne State Athletic Fields where the event is taking place.