Pitch In For Baseball & Softball and Extra Innings partner to run national equipment collection

CHICAGO – State Farm has collaborated with Pitch In For Baseball & Softball (PIFBS) to donate $25,000 in new and gently used baseball and softball equipment to five AUSL high schools in Chicago: Chicago Academy, Collins, Orr, Phillips, and Solorio. Meredith Kim, Chief Operating Officer for PIFBS, will present the equipment including gloves, batting helmets, bats, catchers gear, and more to student athletes during a ceremony Friday, March 31st at 4p.m. at Solorio Academy High School, 5400 S. St Louis St. Chicago, IL 60632.

The donation will benefit nearly 200 male and female athletes who play JV and varsity baseball and softball in Chicago Public Schools. Approximately 100 athletes, wearing their team jerseys, will join AUSL coaches and staff to accept the equipment and thank the donors. Several athletes will be available for media interviews following the ceremony.

“We are so thankful for this donation from State Farm and Pitch in for Baseball. Participating in baseball or softball can be financially challenging for the families AUSL serves. This generous gift ensures that our teams will have the proper gear for our student athletes for years to come,” said Dr. Donald Feinstein, Executive Director of AUSL.

“Not only are more kids in Chicago going to be able to play baseball and softball, but we know from past school based programs that being part of a team will lead to great outcomes like higher school attendance and increased academic performance for these boys and girls,” says David Rhode, CEO and Founder of Pitch In For Baseball & Softball.

“State Farm agents and associates pitch in for our customers and their communities every day. Supporting local schools in providing opportunities to participate in baseball and softball programs is a natural extension of who we are,” said Leif Roll, Marketing Vice President of State Farm.

Founded in 2005, Pitch In For Baseball & Softball (PIFBS) is the central organization for the collection and redistribution of new and gently used youth baseball and softball equipment to underserved communities around the world. PIFBS had distributed equipment and uniforms to more than 90 countries worldwide and more than 500 communities around the United States impacting over 600,000 children in need. Based outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, PIFB is a 501 c 3 not for profit organization. For more information, visit pifbs.wpengine.com or contact Meredith Kim (meredithk@pifb.org) at (215) 313-7476.

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 83 million policies and accounts – nearly 81 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 35 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com.

The Academy for Urban School Leadership is a Chicago non-profit school management organization that creates schools of excellence by developing highly effective teachers and transforming educational outcomes for students in the lowest performing schools. AUSL was founded in 2001 and today manages 31 Chicago Public Schools serving nearly 17,000 students. Over 950 teachers have graduated from the AUSL Chicago Teacher Residency. For more information, please visit auslchicago.org or contact Shane Caterino (scaterino@auslchicago.org) at (773) 534-0142.