‘Come Bat for Measles’ Softball Tournament raises over $46K for Measles Initiative
Members of the 2012 Come Bat for Measles volunteer team greet registrants at their annual Measles Initiative softball tournament fundraiser
Angela Bingham became an American Red Cross volunteer in 2000 while in high school, and eventually served as president of the Red Cross Club at the University of South Carolina. For the past five years, she has coordinated a youth fastpitch softball tournament called “Come Bat for Measles” in West Columbia, SC to raise funds and awareness for the Measles Initiative. Since 2008, these tournaments have generated $46,801.92 to vaccinate children against measles. This year’s tournament was held on May 19-20. The inaugural year alone drew 50 teams and about 1,500 spectators from the Carolinas and Georgia.
In order to reach this goal, Angela established partnerships with the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) of South Carolina and the Lexington County Recreation & Aging Commission. The event raises money through team entry fees, admission fees, donations, proceeds from water balloon and egg tosses, and other activities. The tournament is a grassroots effort staffed each year by a few dedicated volunteers from South Carolina and North Carolina. While at the University of South Carolina, Angela also founded a Measles Initiative Club and coordinated additional fundraisers for the Measles Initiative. She has spoken about her experience at the Measles Initiative Annual Partners Meeting at American Red Cross national headquarters.
“It is rewarding to share with the young girls who are playing that the tournament is about more than softball. Everyone is a champion, because through their participation, thousands of lives are saved,” Angela stated.
Come Bat for Measles is also made possible by the support of dedicated sponsors and volunteers, including Ray Morrell and Carrie Lyons of USSSA, Chris Moseley of Play It Again Sports, and Angela’s family. Sarah Callahan, a physical therapy student at USC, has also been an integral member of the volunteer team since the inaugural tournament.
Angela is now an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. She completed pharmacy practice residency training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and specialized in critical care at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. While she no longer lives in SC, Angela looks forward to returning to the state each year for Come Bat for Measles.
“She is still one of the most dedicated and successful fundraisers that the American Red Cross has had for the Measles Initiative,” said Cara Cuillo, Manager of International Resource Development for the American Red Cross.
Angela Bingham displays a donation jar at a Measles Initiative fundraiser
Photos provided by Angela Bingham