Team hits a home run for Bread for Life

Southington Bread for Life officials consider the high school baseball teams as some of its most important players. After all, the junior varsity and varsity boys support many of the food program’s biggest events by lending hands and hearts to the cause.

Many of the 55 to 60 players will be at the Southington Drive-In Saturday, Aug. 31 for the showing of “The Incredible Hulk” to sell popcorn, candy and nachos, and help where needed. Proceeds will benefit Bread for Life, the community’s not-for-profit food program. The drive-in is located at 935 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. Gates open at 6 p.m. The movie begins at sunset.

“Our baseball teams are always in the batters box for us,” said Bill McDougall, chairman of the Bread for Life Board of Directors. “In addition to the drive-in event, they are a tremendous help at our annual Soup Night. We couldn’t do it without them and our other supporters.”

Charlie Lembo, who is entering his fourth year as the Southington High School head baseball coach, said one of his first goals after he was hired was to get the boys involved in the community. “Bread for Life plays an important role in our community and it’s important for the boys to see that the world is bigger than them. It’s tough times out there for some people.”

He said the players enjoy spending time together off the field and have really stepped up helping out others whether it is at the drive-in or Soup Night, the annual anti-drug rally or for other causes including Relay for Life. Last year they sold pink t-shirts and played a game wearing pink jerseys, which resulted in $3,300 for the cancer cause.

“These are 14- to 18-year-old boys and we want them to be a positive part of the community. This isn’t about raising money for us. Our partnership is a win-win situation and allows us to give back to the community,” Lembo said.

Eldon Hafford, executive director of Bread for Life, said he is so impressed by the baseball teams’ continued support of the organization. Other youth actively volunteer through the BFL Kids Who Care, he said. “These youth aren’t out there because the coach or an adult told them to do it. They are out here because they want to do it.”

At the Aug. 31 drive-in event, “The Hulk” will be on hand for photo opportunities and will lead a parade line around the cars before the movie. Children are encouraged to dress in costume as their favorite superhero. Face painting and the game “Pin the Face on The Hulk” will be provided.

“The Southington Drive-in is a great summer night out for families. We hope the community will come down to support Bread for Life and movie-goers will do their part in supporting food programs that serve their neediest neighbors,” Hafford said.

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