Baseball fans hit a home run with New Year's food drive

Baweball fans in Nanaimo and Victoria delivered one and a half tons of food to the Nanaimo NightOwls and Victoria HarbourCats combined food drive on New Year’s day. 

Jim Swanson Managing Partner and GM of both teams who play in the West Coast League, said the scene was impossible to describe. 

Food drives in both cities netted a $2,654 in cash donations and 3,178 pounds of donated food, equivalent to $8,326.36. In Nanaimo, food and cash donations were given to Loaves and Fishes and in Victoria to the The Mustard Seed. 

In Nanaimo, Sign Zone brought a cash donation while cars circled the ballpark parking lot in drenched conditions. All in the name, in both locations, of filling RVs provided by Arbutus RV, with support from Save On Foods, Panago on Fourth in Nanaimo, The Wilson's Group of Companies, Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and other partners and stakeholders. Fans of both teams were front and centre in the giving.

All was done following current rules and guidelines in the name of public health safety.

"People have all been impacted by this, but they want to help others, and our best use of time these days is to help our communities get through this -- what we do best is bring people together, and our staff worked hard on this," said Swanson. "We added a surprise 20-minute fireworks show in Nanaimo just after dark, that perked up people's spirits going into 2021,. It was cathartic, we all felt the release of being at an event."

The two clubs will start the season in June. They plan to make the food drives (and fireworks?) an annual event -- mark it down for Jan. 1, 2022.