Flying Squirrels Charities donating $40K to local COVID-19 relief

Richmond Flying SquirrelsLast week’s “500 Bases of Love” and “Bring it Home” fundraisers by the Richmond Flying Squirrels and Sports Radio 910 The Fan raised more than $30,000 for COVID-19 relief. With an additional $10,000 contribution from Flying Squirrels Charities, more than $40,000 will be distributed to local organizations combating needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including Holli Fund, The Community Foundation, Robins Foundation’s Family Crisis Fund through RVA Strong, Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation, Nourish Henrico and Chesterfield Food Bank.

On Thursday, April 16, the date originally scheduled as the team’s home opener, Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell walked 125 laps around the basepaths at The Diamond, touching 500 bases, as part of the “500 Bases of Love” fundraiser. Each lap and each base touched were representative of donations made to the fundraiser. Parney’s walk totaled more than 8.5 miles.

Later on Thursday afternoon, Parney joined Wes McElroy on Sports Radio 910 The Fan for “Bring it Home,” a four-hour live fundraiser with celebrity guests and prize opportunities for donors.

The double-header of events resulted in more than $30,000 raised.

On Wednesday, the team announced that Flying Squirrels Charities will be contributing an additional $10,000.

“We miss our fans terribly, so the ‘500 Bases of Love’ was a great way for us all to connect positively, raise some money to fight COVID-19 and tell our fans we appreciate them, love them and can’t wait to make memories again soon,” Parney said. “Each of these organizations will work diligently to make sure this money helps people in need because of this pandemic. We pray we can be together soon in safe and happy surroundings.”

The money from the fundraisers will be distributed to organizations assisting families and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as groups helping those who are combating the outbreak.

Holli Fund offers grants to individuals in the food service industry experiencing an economic crisis. Grants help pay for rent, transportation, mortgage payments, and/or utilities. Holli Fund supports individuals in the Richmond-area food service industry who are experiencing an economic crisis such as injury, illness, death of an immediate family member, loss of income due to coronavirus restrictions, or other emergency.

The Community Foundation is a leading partner and advocate for philanthropy and service in the Richmond region. Founded in 1968, they’ve built a strong legacy of helping people and institutions give back with passion and purpose.

“You can always count on Parney and the Flying Squirrels organization not only to entertain us, but also to give back in meaningful ways,” Community Foundation CEO Sherrie Armstrong said. “At a time when many of our community members are particularly hard hit by this crisis, a donation to the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund will directly support local organizations that are working hard to fulfill basic needs such as food, healthcare and shelter. Their generosity also sends a powerful statement that we can do more good when we come together.”

The Robins Foundation in partnership with the City of Richmond launched The Family Crisis Fund earlier this month to assist families with children in direct and immediate need of support due to job loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program has partnered with Family Independence Initiative to work with families across Richmond, Chesterfield and Henrico.

Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that partners with the school district to improve student learning and achievement in preparation for success in college, career, and community. Their role is to seek private sector philanthropy to support new and existing evidence-based programs and enrichment activities.

“We are incredibly grateful for this donation from the Flying Squirrels,” Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation Executive Director Ty Toepke said. “At a time when so many of our local businesses are facing their own challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis, their generosity towards the students of Richmond Public Schools is inspiring.”

Nourish Henrico supports locally owned restaurants in Henrico by buying meals for police officers, firefighters and other county employees who are working the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the county’s program, 700 to 900 employees are eligible to receive meals valued at $15 or less from about 100 approved restaurants. In addition to its own support, Henrico welcomes contributions from the community. Donations for Nourish Henrico may be made through the Henrico Police Foundation and the Henrico Firefighter Foundation.

“The Nourish Henrico Program is about giving back – giving back to one of the most impacted industries and to our frontline employees,” Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas said. “This effort has also shown me how strong and supportive our community is during times of difficultly, and the Flying Squirrels are an integral part of our community.”

Chesterfield Food Bank strives to stop families in the community from going to bed hungry every night. They proudly serve a variety of neighbors, a majority of whom do not qualify for government assistance. In cooperation with local Social Services, they locate and help those families and individuals that would not have been helped otherwise and serve 1,800 people a week.


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