On Deck for Cuban Delivery, Baseball Gear Bound to Be a Hit

Preparing the donations for delivery takes a team effort. From left are Nicholas D. Reitz, Semeon R. DeBarros, Robert L. Sloss, Thomas M. Malason Jr, Andrew A. Smith, Vander Vere, Brendon J. Dibble, Andrew J. Brady, Colin D. McOdrum and Austen J. Caron.

Cuba-bound donations, including Penn College memorabilia

McOdrum cleans donated sneakers.

Service with Greek smiles from DeBarros, Reitz and Smith.

Donations of used baseball equipment gathered this spring as part of an effort to help young baseball players in Cuba are almost “home.” The donations are in Austin, Texas – at Maya Exploration Center – awaiting the nonprofit travel organization’s next trip to Cuba, according to Curt Vander Vere, assistant professor of mathematics at Penn College. Vander Vere spearheaded the collection and was assisted by members of Greek Life. In addition to a number of students, employees and community members contributing, the donation drive received three used bats and two boxes of used baseballs from the Wildcat baseball team as well as Penn College shirts, caps and backpacks donated by the college administration. Vander Vere had traveled to Cuba in July with the Maya Exploration Center’s “Ancient Explorations” branch and saw the need for youth baseball equipment at a makeshift game on the grounds of Ernest Hemingway’s former home in a suburb of Havana. The math professor says he’s eager to see and share images of young Cubans playing with the Penn College-collected equipment in the future.
Photos by Grace F. Clark, student photographer

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