Visalia Rawhide turn double play on COVID-19

Former, current owners of Minor League club team up to donate $250,000 to the Visalia, Tulare County community 

VISALIA – Families in Tulare County continue to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to lend a helping hand while commemorating the one-year anniversary of winning the Championship of the California League, the former and current owners of the Visalia Rawhide have jointly contributed $250,000 to the Visalia Rawhide Charitable Fund.

The donation was made by the Sigal family who are the current owners of Rawhide and the Seidler family who are the former owners. The fund is with the Central Valley Community Foundation. Two initial grants from this fund will support the community of Visalia Rawhide fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A $50,000 grant will give six family resource centers, including the Visalia Family Resource Center, the funds needed to support families with childcare costs, food, distance learning supplies, and other essential services. Family resource centers in Tulare County are experiencing, on average, a 50% increase in the number of calls for assistance. Many from families that have never sought help before.

A second $50,000 grant will help fund The Healthy Harvest Program in Tulare County. This Healthy Harvest Program expands messaging to the Valley’s food production industry about coronavirus safety, provides access to testing, houses workers who need to self-isolate, and provides food and transportation to make quarantine possible. These are essential steps to stop the spread of the virus throughout the community. The program is a partnership with the state’s Home for the Harvest Program and brings together state, federal, industry and philanthropic dollars.

The remaining money from the donation will be contributed to long term projects with the Central Valley Community Fund. Over time, the Sigal family hopes to contribute more. In April, they donated over $30,000 to support Central Valley nonprofits. In collaboration with the Central Valley Community Foundation, support was directed to emergency relief funds, food bank distribution efforts and local hospitals. According to current Rawhide co-owner Sam Sigal, his family felt it was important to continue playing a role in helping essential workers get the supplies they need. With Minor League Baseball on hold for the foreseeable future, their current focus is the health of the people of Visalia and the surrounding area.

“Unfortunately, the need doesn’t go away and neither do the problems,” Sigal said. “It takes all of us coming together to make a difference in this national crisis.”

Moving forward, the Sigal family is looking forward to getting their team back on the field. For now, they are also focused on a socially distanced movie night that will happen at Recreation Ballpark at some point in mid-October.

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