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Buffalo Wings host meat raffle to help fund trip to Cooperstown

Players from the Buffalo Wings 12 and under team met with Hilbert College players.

BY: Kaitlin Fritz, Community Papers of WNY | January 08, 2014

Each year, a team from the Buffalo Wings Baseball league receives the opportunity to participate in a weeklong tournament in Cooperstown, New York.

This year, it’s the 12 and under team’s turn to head to the “birthplace of baseball” to participate in the tournament with 104 teams from throughout the country.

“It’s a growing experience, said Tim Ball, head coach for the 12 and under team. “There’s not pressure on the kids. They just get to go enjoy the game of baseball.”

Ball has been a part of the Buffalo Wings organization for nearly 10 years and this will be his second trip to Cooperstown. He said he can’t even explain what a great experience this is for the kids and that he enjoys watching his players learn and work as a team.

“You just love watching these boys develop and learn to appreciate the game,” he said. “It’s such an enjoyable week for them for the coaches and for the parents to watch them.”

He continued by saying during the trip, the kids grow close, working as a team and have a great time on and off the field.

“It’s like having a whole set of 11 baseball kids that are your kids for the week,” he said.

The team consists of players from throughout Western New York.

To help support the team and send the players to the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a meat raffle will be held to raise funds.

Ball picked the largest banquet facility he could find in the area and chose the Knights of Columbus at 2735 Union Road, Cheektowaga.

The facility holds up to 500 people and Ball is hoping that’s how many will come out at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25.

Admission for the event is $5 and the cost includes beer and pop for the evening. Guests can bring their own snacks.

There will be a variety of big-ticket items that will be raffled off at the event and a 50/50 will also be held. Along with these prizes, door prizes will also be raffled off.

The meat raffle will consist of 12 rounds. Tickets can be purchased during each round, which will contain numbers. Then, a wheel will be spun and the number it lands on is the winning number. Several winners will be chosen for each round to win items such as strip steaks, pork loin, pork chops, ham and more.

“It’s really kind of like bingo with meat and it’s a wild time,” said Ball.

Ball added that he has gone to meat raffles in the past and some guests even brought noisemakers to celebrate when a guest at their table won.

In the past, Ball said they would host a beer blast to help fund the trip but the cost per person was $20. He said now couples can come out for $5 each and have a great time, while also supporting the team.

Players from the team, as well as parents and coaches, will be volunteering to make sure the event runs smoothly and that everyone has a great time.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Ball at 907-7365 or his wife, Cindy at 907-8817. Individual tickets can be purchased or full tables of eight can be reserved for $32.

For more information on the Buffalo Wings, visit www.leaguelineup.com/buffalowings.

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