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Ace Hardware helps bring America\’s pastime to underserved communities

“Play ball!”
For many, these summertime words are commonplace at ball diamonds and in backyards, heralding the start of a game of America’s favorite pastime. But for children living in underserved communities, “striking out” has nothing to do with baseball.
“An astounding number of kids never get to experience the crack of the bat or that ‘slap’ the ball makes when it hits a glove,” said Brad Gardner, Manager at the Ace fix-it Hardware Store. “We were so happy to find out there was something we could do to change that.”
For 2006, Ace Hardware has teamed up with “Pitch In For Baseball,” an organization that collects new and “nearly new” youth baseball equipment and redistributes it to areas where it’s needed most. Ace fix-it Hardware, located at 1112 Logan Avenue, Tyrone will serve as a drop-off point for equipment, every Saturday in August. Gloves and baseballs will be accepted. Ace fix-it Hardware will handle packaging up the items and sending them to “Pitch In For Baseball”, where the gear will be sent to the places it’s needed most.
“A lack of equipment in no way represents an absence of passion when it comes to America’s pastime,” says Brad Gardner. “Pitch In For Baseball gives kids an opportunity to play ball despite their lack of equipment. It’s a fantastic organization and our store is proud to ‘pitch in’ and lend a hand.”
In 2005 alone, Pitch In For Baseball collected enough equipment to provide for hurricane affected regions in the Gulf Coast, including New Orleans, Biloxi, Miss. and Mobile, Ala., and have supported communities around the world in Poland, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
“If everyone in Tyrone and Blair County brought in just one piece of equipment they weren’t using anymore, imagine the number of underprivileged kids who could experience a pop fly or a base hit,” said Brad. “We’re especially in need of gloves, the most basic piece of baseball equipment.”
More information on Pitch In For Baseball is available at www.pitchinforbaseball.org. For more information on Ace Hardware, or to locate the store nearest you, please visit www.acehardware.com.
Ace fix-it Hardware is part of Ace Hardware Corp., the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Ace’s 4,600 independent hardware, home center, lumber and building materials retailers in all 50 states and 70 countries have annual retail sales that exceed $13 billion. Ace, founded in 1924, is headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., and currently operates 15 distribution centers in the United States.