River Bandits make clutch hit again for Genesis children’s health programs


The River Bandits announced a new challenge grant for the Genesis Foundation children’s health programs on Monday.

Major League Baseball’s High-A Central champion Quad Cities River Bandits continue to be champions for children’s health. Now the team is issuing a challenge to others to support Genesis Foundation children’s health initiatives by matching their contributions.

The River Bandits organization — which capped a winning 2021 season on the field with a High-A Central League championship (the team’s fourth in the last 10 seasons) — announced Monday that it’s teaming up with the Genesis Foundation to encourage businesses and individuals throughout the Quad Cities to support children’s health, according to a team release.

The Bandits are creating a Challenge Grant where the team will match all donations up to $50,000 to any of following initiatives: Flu-Free Quad Cities program, Camp Genesis, and the Genesis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The Challenge Grant runs for two months, through Dec. 17, 2021.

  • Flu-Free QC provides thousands of free seasonal influenza vaccinations each year to elementary school students throughout the region.
  • Camp Genesis offers a traditional camp experienced to young people dealing with cancer in their family.
  • River Bandits support also assists Genesis with the cost of equipment and life-saving technology in the Genesis NICU.

“The past year and a half or so have shown everyone the importance of the great work being done by our Genesis health care heroes and we want to encourage everyone to support them to the fullest extent possible,’’ River Bandits owner Dave Heller said in the release. “River Bandits baseball is a family activity and flu season is upon us. We want to encourage everyone to do their part to keep Quad Cities families safe and healthy. That’s why we’re so excited to establish this Challenge Grant.”

Rascal,. the River Bandits mascot, presented a $50,000 to the Genesis Foundation in January 2020.

“We can all be champions for the health of children by providing financial support of Genesis health projects like Flu-Free Quad Cities,’’ said Missy Gowey, executive director of the Genesis Foundation. “The River Bandits and their fans have made a generous commitment to children’s health through this gift. When a highly respected organization like the Quad Cities River Bandits comes on board, others can envision themselves investing charitably in a program that is their passion and does so much to protect our children and our families.”

Flu-Free Quad Cities has started in elementary schools in the region. To donate to all Genesis children’s health initiatives, visit www.genesishealth.com/give.

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