PBATS today announced the 2018 One-Day Charity fundraiser has officially raised $43,502 to benefit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting the world’s toughest cancer. For the first time in the One-Day Charity history, total donations surpassed the $43,000 mark.
The PBATS One-Day Charity is an annual fundraiser, coordinated and executed by minor league medical coordinators. Each off-season, minor league medical coordinators vote on a charitable organization for which they would like to raise money. Once the organization has been selected, minor league athletic trainers contribute the equivalent of one day’s meal money during spring training to help support the chosen cause.
The charity is led by committee chair Joe Rauch of the Philadelphia Phillies. This year, Rauch worked alongside committee members Mark Stubblefield (Umpires), Jon Kotredes (Washington Nationals), Nate Brooks (Oakland Athletics) and Patrick Serbus (Cincinnati Reds).
Unique to this year’s fundraiser, was the ability for all involved to make donations that would impact the life a colleague, friend and brother to many in baseball and sports medicine. Late last year, Milwaukee Brewers Medical Director Roger Caplinger was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Upon receiving the news of Roger’s diagnosis, Rauch and the Minor League coordinators saw an amazing opportunity to raise funds to benefit Roger and all others fighting the battle against Pancreatic Cancer.
“Roger has been an extremely influential member of PBATS and the baseball athletic training community for many years,” Rauch said. “Our goal this year was to crack $40,000 for the first time in One-Day Charity history. We had Roger as a motivating force for everyone and we really wanted to do something special to show him what he means to everyone in baseball and beyond.”
Rauch added, “Frank Neville, Roger’s colleague with the Milwaukee Brewers, was instrumental this year and his efforts will not go unnoticed. Frank was a great communicator to Roger for us. He kept Roger up to date and was a driving force in securing additional donations. We could not have done this without Frank.”
Along with the One-Day Charity, the Milwaukee Brewers raised $11,000 for Roger’s Purple Platoon, Roger’s team for PurpleStride Milwaukee — the walk to end pancreatic cancer. At the event, Caplinger made a special announcement (pictured below) acknowledging the donation from the One-Day Charity. PanCAN presented Roger with a framed certificate (also pictured below) recognizing the donation, which Roger plans to hang in the Milwaukee Brewers newly constructed facility in Maryvale, Arizona.
Photos courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers
When asked about his battle and the One-Day Charity efforts of his colleagues, Caplinger said, “I want to express my gratitude to the PBATS minor league One-Day Charity for the generous donation of more than $43,000. It’s my mission to spread awareness about this disease and the donations are a huge help. The way I see it — in relation to baseball — I’ve been thrown a curveball in life and I can’t just sit here and take it. Instead, I have to hit it out of the park and that’s what I plan to do during this battle.”
This year’s all-time high donation amount would not have been possible without the help of many organizations outside of the athletic training room. PBATS would like to specifically recognize Team Scotti and Medco for generous donations, as well as other friends of PBATS who wish to remain anonymous.
Since 2012, the One-Day Charity donations have totaled upwards of $140,000 for multiple charitable organizations. In 2017, the charity resulted in $38,286 for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. In 2016, $37,984 were raised for the Miracle League. And in 2015, the group raised $30,202 to benefit Major League Baseball’s Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.). In previous years, funds have also been raised for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (2013) and the Wounded Warrior Project (2014).
PBATS would also like to thank Brooke Caviglia — Senior Manager, Corporate and Community Partnerships at the PanCAN — for her work and coordination of this year’s fundraising. Without the help of Brooke and her team, none of this would have been possible.
“We are deeply grateful for the support of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society. The amount of money raised in honor of Roger is truly remarkable,” said Caviglia. “Thanks to the One-Day Charity, we are able to advance the research and programs that will transform the lives of people who are living with pancreatic cancer. Together, we are demanding better for patients and for survival.”
The PBATS One-Day Charity, although initially started as a way for minor league medical coordinators to fundraise for organizations in need, is not limited to minor league athletic trainers. PBATS hopes that contributions will increasingly come from all those interested in raising money for organizations in need, potentially including front office personnel, clubhouse staff members, coaches, players and corporate partnerships as well.
Read more about Roger Caplinger, his battle and his mission via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by clicking here.