The fifth annual URI Baseball Autism Awareness Day held on April 21 will go in the books as another success. While Rhody earned a split in its doubleheader against Xavier, the Rams again scored a grand slam when it came to raising money for The Autism Project of Rhode Island.
“We did great today,” said Narelle Foster, wife of Rams’ head coach Jim Foster. “We were – and are – very, very happy with the entire day. It was a fun day and we had tons of volunteers.”
It was also a terrific tribute for Delaney Foster, the 8-year-old daughter of Narelle and Jim Foster, who has autism.
For the past five years, the Fosters – as well as URI players, their parents and their many friends – have raised hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for The Autism Project of RI.
This year’s event netted upwards of $4,200 from the sale of T-shirts, hot dogs, soda and a bake sale. By nightfall – and into the following day – the Rams’ fifth annual Autism Awareness Day raised upwards of $5,000 as more personal checks poured into the Rams’ baseball camp. That money will be donated to the charity in Delaney Foster’s name.
Proceeds from such events will benefit local children by providing new services and additional training for new teachers and professionals who care for individuals affected by Autism.
“We want to help a locally run group that will directly help kids in Rhode Island with Autism,” said Narelle Foster. “The money is also used for training teachers in school systems, summer camps for those children with Autism and also for some classes that are run for kids and adults.”
Narelle Foster also emphasized that “our players’ parents are really an outstanding group of people. They have all been incredibly supportive towards our efforts in fundraising for the autism cause. They donate soda for the day. They purchase T-shirts for their kids and they put together the bake sale.”
And unlike past years, those URI parents got a big break and were able to watch both ends of the doubleheader. Students from Alpha Chi Omega and Sigma Alpha Epsilon volunteered to make the day run smoothly.