A Cherry Hill-based travel baseball team has been scoring a lot of runs while helping those fighting breast cancer in October.
The South Jersey Storm, a 11–12-year-old youth baseball team, is doing a unique fundraiser in October where it is raising money for the Tyanna Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing education, support services, care and more to those with breast cancer.
Cherry Hill resident Debra Janove helped start the South Jersey Storm earlier this year with her husband Jerry. Playing in their first fall season, they wanted to do something for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
“I didn’t want them to just have pink shirts,” Debra said.
Players on the team and parents shared ideas on ways they could help others during the season. They decided to donate to the Tyanna Foundation and to raise money based on how they played on the field. The team is donating $5 for every run it scores during one of its games.
“I thought it was a really cool idea,” said Drew Savett, a Cherry Hill resident and one of the players on the Storm. “It’s a great way to raise breast cancer awareness and raise money.”
Debra and Jerry’s son Josh was excited when the team decided to tie the fundraiser to the team’s offensive performance. He said this gave his team extra motivation.
“When I heard about the run thing, it made me want to score more runs because I know it’s going to a good cause,” Josh said.
The team has played in a number of tournaments since the beginning of the fundraiser and has attracted attention with its pink camouflage jerseys. Savett said the jerseys have attracted a lot of attention from other teams.
“One of the teams from the past tournament, when we were done the game, they said ‘Wow, look at their jerseys,’” Savett said.
One of the Storm players also helped with the jersey design. Jesse Specter, from Moorestown, created a patch for the sleeve of the jersey that includes a pink ribbon over a baseball with the words “Storm Strong.”
“One day, I was thinking of doing something just with a pink jersey,” Jesse said. “So I designed a jersey with Storm Strong on the front.”
Josh felt wearing the pink jerseys is a very important part of the fundraiser, as it helped to raise awareness at the tournaments.
“I hear the other teams talking about it,” Josh said. “It means a lot that the other teams are thinking pink jerseys are cool, too.”
The team originally set a goal to score 100 runs and donate $500 in October. They eclipsed their goal in just a couple weeks, scoring 103 runs for $515 in donations as of Oct. 14. The team has also won 21 of 27 games since beginning the fundraiser.
Josh said the last few weeks have had a huge impact on him. With the amount of success the Storm has had in their fundraiser, he hopes the team does more of this in the future.
“Instead of being the team that just wins games, we want to give back, too,” Josh said.
Parents are now trying to get local businesses and sponsors to match the donations the team is making. To find out more about the Storm’s fundraiser and how to donate, email email@example.com.