Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour
517.332.5046 or www.mhsaa.com

EAST LANSING, Mich. – May 4 Baseball and softball umpires from mid-Michigan will be pledging their first game fees in the month of May for the third straight year towards the continued improvement of children’s health care in their part of the state.

On Thursday (May 7),  over 125 umpires working baseball and softball games at 20 locations will be donating their game fee to Officials For Kids, a charitable initiative of the Michigan High School Athletic Association in conjunction with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  The money raised will be used at the local Children’s Miracle Network facility, Sparrow Hospital in Lansing, towards the maintenance of its Pediatric Emergency Room and Waiting Room.

Two local officials associations are involved again this year -- a group of umpires assigned to games in the Lansing area by Ken Sudall is involved in the program for the third straight year; and the Heart of Michigan Officials Association, with umpires assigned by Bruce Moss of Alma, is participating for the second time. 

The Lansing area sites are mostly Capital Area Activities Conference members, and the sites assigned by the Heart of Michigan Officials Association are at Mid-State Athletic Conference schools.

The Give-A-Game program has been used has been used by different local officials associations around the state to solicit donations, and the initiative also serves to increase awareness of the Officials for Kids cause while generating public support for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The Officials For Kids Program takes on a local focus at each Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in the state.  In addition to the efforts to benefit Sparrow Hospital, Officials For Kids has a program at Beaumont Hospital in Detroit called Referees For Reading, where monies raised help fund a pediatric ward book cart, and officials give of their time to read to children.  At DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, members of the West Michigan Officials Association have conducted Give-A-Game donations the past three years to assist programs for visually impaired pediatric patients and the hospital’s Children’s Burn Camp.  At Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Officials For Kids donations will go towards Camp REACH, which fights childhood obesity.

Officials For Kids began in early 2003 as a small group of mid-Michigan officials dedicated to the future of children’s healthcare & the Children’s Miracle Network.  The ultimate hope for the program is that officials personal & association pledges, along with participation in fundraising events & initiatives, will make Officials for Kids a name synonymous with the continued improvement of children’s healthcare across the state.

For more information about Officials For Kids, visit the Officials page of the MHSAA Website.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,600 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition.  No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools.  Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.

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