VISALIA — To commemorate 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 at the Central Valley Community Foundation to serve the community where Visalia Rawhide fans live, work, and play.
Two initial grants from this fund will support the community 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. The local agriculture industry is essential, and has continued the food production we all rely on. 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. Among the agencies that support The Healthy Harvest Program are the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Tulare County, and the Tulare Farm Bureau.
“The Visalia community provided great support over our 18 years with the Rawhide ballclub,” said Tom Seidler, former Rawhide co-owner and President of Top of the Third, Inc. “We are excited to have the opportunity to give back to the community during this time of great need, in partnership with the Rawhide and the Sigal family. I can't think of a better way to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Rawhide championship than this effort to help many families in need through these two grants.”
“It takes all of us coming together to make a difference in this national crisis,” said Sam Sigal, current co-owner of the Rawhide and Vice President of First Pitch Entertainment, LLC. “It is an honor to be supporting our new community in this way. Although professional baseball is in a pause due to the pandemic, we look forward to many enjoyable seasons in the years ahead. For now, the health of the people of Visalia and the surrounding area is our focus.”
In April, at the beginning of the pandemic, the Sigal family donated over $30,000 to support Central Valley non-profits. In collaboration with the Central Valley Community Foundation, support was directed to emergency relief funds, food bank distribution efforts, and local hospitals.
“The Visalia Rawhide has been an iconic presence in Tulare County by tipping its hat to the Ag industry that propels our community. And by stepping up to help financially support our Healthy Harvest program, the Community Care Coalition in Tulare County can bring much needed supportive services to our farmworkers and their families affected by COVID-19,” said Coalition Co-Chairs Rosemary Caso, Executive Director of United Way Tulare County and Francena Martinez, Division Manager, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency. “We applaud their efforts in making sure this critical program is available to those that need it.”