Left to Right: Jacob Westerman (San Francisco), Scott Parker (San Francisco), Udie Summerall (Florida Atlantic), and John Glenn (California Baptist) collecting food at a local Giant Food
On Saturday June 30, nearly one hundred college baseball players who have come from across the country to play summer baseball in Montgomery County collected 9,499 pounds of food at twelve Giant Food stores across Montgomery County for the Manna Food Center. The Gaithersburg Giants upset the perennial champion Rockville Express to win the Ninth Annual Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League's Feed the Hungry Challenge by collecting an individual team record 3,205 pounds of food. Players from the Bethesda Big Train and Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts also collected food on Saturday. Despite wilting heat, the league total was the highest in the nine years of the challenge as three of the four teams recorded dramatic increases over previous years. In the nine years of the competition, the college players have collected 53,171 pounds of food — nearly 27 tons of food for Montgomery County's neighbors in need.
Big Train founder Bruce Adams expressed appreciation to the Big Train players and interns for a strong performance: “We did well. The Giant stores in the downcountry are much smaller than upcounty. The boys were really into it. The fact that we were so competitive with Rockville and Gaithersburg is a testament to their energy and commitment to serving others."
Jackie DeCarlo, Manna Executive Director, said "Once again the Cal Ripken League teams came together for the local community in an impressive effort. The Manna team thanks all who made the collection of nearly five tons of food possible. It is especially valuable to get this food now to restock our shelves for the summer.” Ripken League Co-Founder Adams, who initiated the Feed the Hungry Challenge in 2010, said: “Seeing these college ballplayers who have come here from all across the country pitch in to serve our Montgomery County neighbors in need — especially in this incredible heat — reminds us of the good there is in the world when we all work together.”
Thanks to the Manna Food Center, Giant Food, and Text Design for supporting this community service program of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League.
Feed the Hungry Challenge Boxscore
Gaithersburg Giants 3,205 pounds
Rockville Express 2,661 pounds
Bethesda Big Train 2,425 pounds
Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts 1,208 pounds
TOTAL 9,499 pounds = 4.8 tons