BENEFITING: GRADY GREY KNIGHTS ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB INC
Grady High School is the only traditional high school within Atlanta Public Schools without an on-site or adjacent baseball or softball field or practice facility. Grady High School is a flagship, inner-city Atlanta school and its baseball program has played a significant role in the history of Georgia baseball. The prestigious Georgia Dugout Club (http://www.gdcbaseball.org) was co-founded in 1962 by the then coach of Grady High baseball – E.E. Red Whitsett. Until the 1990s Grady had access to the large city park across the street – Piedmont Park. However, after the Piedmont Park Conservancy was formed, Grady baseball was no longer allowed to play or practice in the park. Despite years of parent and player advocacy, our teams are still excluded from the park and still don't have an adjacent home field, and no baseball or softball practice facility on campus. Instead, our players are bused to a shared field across town for practice and games (16 miles roundtrip). This adds additional hardship on our student athletes. Our players must wait for an afternoon bus to return to Grady after it makes an after-school route. This means a 45-minute (average) wait after school before making a minimum 30-minute, one-way commute in afternoon, interstate traffic, through Atlanta's dangerous 'Grady Hospital curve.' This results in practices beginning late, thus ending late, which cuts into academic time.
It is the mission of the newly revitalized Grady Dugout Club to help each baseball and softball player grow and develop individually, and as a team, by funding an on-site, covered batting cage and bullpen.
This practice facility will allow the players to:
1. Begin practice directly after school while waiting for the bus to transport them to the off-site field.
2. Hold a productive practice on days when the off-site field is not available because
a. it is being used by another team.
b. there are poor field conditions.
c. there is a threat of inclement weather.
3. Have an area to warm up prior to games — Grady's shared, off-site "home" field is not equipped with a batting cage.
To achieve our goal, we need the help of our community and anyone who loves the sport of baseball and/or softball. While Atlanta Public School is allowing us a site to house the indoor batting cage, the Grady Dugout Club is solely responsible for funding. Total expenses are estimated at $32,000. This includes materials for the concrete foundation, construction, turf, netting for two batting cages, L-screens, bullpen and a shingled pavilion. This is a long-term investment in the students of the Grady cluster and in the Grady High School baseball and softball programs. Contributions are tax-deductible and any amount will be a win for our girls and boys! For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.