A New Baseball Field for Hiram Johnson High School
Sutter Health and the Sacramento River Cats Volunteer
Sutter Health and the Sacramento River Cats "Go to Bat" for Students at Hiram Johnson to Create a Field of Dreams
More than one hundred volunteers, organized by Sutter Health and the Sacramento River Cats, transformed Hiram Johnson High School's varsity baseball field from a mass of weeds, rocks and rotting wood into a "field of dreams" that students and faculty can take pride in on. The project is being funded by Sutter Health and field renovation is being coordinated by the River Cats. Dozens of volunteers worked all day to replace the backstop wood, repair and replace the chain link fence, paint the dugout, install a portable outfield fence, provide a new infield and otherwise renovate the grounds.
Sutter Health and the Sacramento River Cats have joined together as community health partners for the past six years, looking for opportunities to meet community needs. This first-of-its-kind project at Hiram Johnson High School will provide much-needed facility improvements, promote physical activity, enhance school pride and once again extend community health beyond hospital walls.
“As a leading provider of health care, we’re committed to doing whatever we can to encourage active, healthy lifestyles for all ages,” said Sutter Health President and CEO Patrick Fry. "This project is more than rebuilding one baseball diamond; it's about coming together for the health and well being of our community’s children. What could be better?"
Traditionally, the Sutter Health network of hospitals, physicians and other health care service providers leads and supports community programs all over Northern California that promote physical activity, healthy eating and creative approaches to ending childhood obesity. The project at Hiram Johnson High School is one more example of a school partnership that promotes and supports healthy lifestyles.
"We are proud to partner with a community leader like Sutter Health, who continually steps up to the plate to positively impact the health and well-being of children and adults alike," said River Cats President, General Manager and COO Alan Ledford. "The River Cats organization is committed to finding new and creative ways to make a difference in our community and we applaud Sutter Health for their work on this project."
Sutter Health and River Cats representatives completed a number of site visits and analyzed the socio-economic status of the student population and surrounding communities to determine which schools would benefit the most from these efforts not only through better baseball facilities, but enhanced school pride. Hiram Johnson was selected in recognition of its approach to developing the "whole student" by focusing on academics, athletics and building individual character through social interaction.
Sutter Health is investing a total of $25,000 to this project and the River Cats are coordinating equipment, manpower, knowledge and expertise. The River Cats have worked diligently with a number of local companies to make the generous donation from Sutter stretch as far as possible. Sutter also awarded $5,000 to the runner up, Florin High School, to refurbish its varsity field dugout.
"We are thrilled to have been chosen by Sutter Health and the River Cats for this project and appreciate their generous donations, time and effort to turn our varsity field into something students and faculty can take pride in," said Principal Lynne Tafoya of Hiram Johnson High School. "Our approach to developing well-rounded students will be enriched by improving our baseball facilities and further encouraging students to take part in physical activity. We commend Sutter Health and the River Cats for going above and beyond to help improve our school and the quality of life of every one of our students."
The not-for-profit Sutter Health network has a longstanding commitment to enhancing the health of communities throughout Northern California. During 2005, it invested $929 million in costs related to providing care and services for the poor and underserved and benefits for the broader community, or nearly 15 percent of net patient and capitation revenue.
About the River Cats
The Sacramento River Cats are the top minor league affiliate of the Oakland Athletics and play their home games at Raley Field in West Sacramento. Since the team's inception 2000, the River Cats have led all of Minor League Baseball (nearly 200 teams) in attendance every year and have won two Pacific Coast League Championships (2003 and 2004). The Sacramento River Cats are an active member of the Sacramento and West Sacramento communities and are involved in countless philanthropic programs.