Yorkers, Revs and Bailey team up for hurricane relief
Thousands of fans filled the stands for the Thursday, Sept. 7, York Revolution doubleheader — but not just for the baseball. They arrived with bags full of hygiene products, pet food and other goods intended for hurricane relief.
York Revolution President Eric Menzer and John Bailey, owner of York-based Bailey Coach Trailways, teamed up for the relief efforts, asking fans to bring nonperishable items to the game and donating all ticket sales from the games to the South Central Pennsylvania American Red Cross.
The Revs announced Sept. 1 that PeoplesBank would be matching their donation.
Menzer said together with the match, ticket sales from the game raised $8,367 toward hurricane relief efforts.
At game time, a big coach bus parked at the entrance of PeoplesBank Park waited to accept collections, and Menzer said there was a good-sized stack in the ticket office before the game started, with people dropping off items throughout the day.
Bailey plans to drive to Houston with the collections on Friday, and he's been accepting products at the Bailey Coach headquarters daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. since his last trip to Texas.
Bailey's charter business, a certified vendor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was approached to help with transporting people being evacuated because of Hurricane Harvey. He decided to take donated supplies to Texas along with his buses.
He made an initial trip to San Antonio with 60,000 pounds worth of canned goods, bottled water and clothing in three buses on Aug. 28.
Bailey was not expecting the outpouring of support the project received in preparation for the next trip.
"In two words ... overwhelming response," he said. He expected to fill one trailer full of goods, but he filled 10. With each trailer holding 80,000 pounds, that's about 800,000 pounds of goods going to the Texas relief efforts.
Participants brought a variety of items, big and small, including baby diapers, cribs, toilet paper and shovels.
Many schools, senior centers and churches organized big loads for the donation, including Mechanicsburg Middle School, which brought three trucks and a trailer earlier in the day.
"The outpouring and love has just been incredible," Bailey said. "Everyone volunteered and helped make a very small dent ... a small ray of sunshine in those people's lives that have lost everything."
The charter business has experience under its belt with offering relief from past hurricanes, but Thursday's York Revolution game marks the first time the minor league baseball team contributed to relief efforts for a national-scale disaster.
The team decided to do this because of the magnitude of the struggle the people in Texas are facing, as well as their personal connection with the Sugar Land Skeeters, a fellow Atlantic League team and home team for Constellation Field in Sugar Land, Texas, where the Revs have often played.
Their fellow Atlantic League team has a lot of familiar faces, including employees and players, some of whom are former Revs, Menzer said.
"Part of our relationship with our fans in the community is being able to do these sorts of things," Menzer said. A benefit of the sports platform, he said, is being able to rally support.