A hotdog $2.25, a Pepsi $1.25, an ice cream sandwich .50 cents. These are familiar prices for anyone with children who play baseball or softball at Maxwell Field.
The signs are posted, "Proceeds support the Red Bird Mission Team." There are brochures to pick up, but where does the Maxwell field concession stand money really go?
About half of the money earned throughout the three-month season goes directly to the Oneida Area Little League. This money is used for things like field upkeep, team uniforms and paying the umpires.
The other half goes to an organization known as the Red Bird Mission team.
The team, with members from Verona, Oneida, Durhamville and Oneida Castle, travels each year during the second or third week in August to Beverly, Kentucky to assist the people of Appalachia, one of the poorest areas of the country.
The Red Bird Mission located in Beverly serves three counties in Kentucky. There, the per capita income on average is only half of the national average. The work camp runs year-round and does everything from patch roofs to build ramps and porches to make homes handicap accessible.
For more information on the camp visit rbmission.org
A history of the local team
The team originated from St. Paul's United Methodist Church on Sayles Street about 16 years ago. Back then, the team earned its way to Kentucky through bottle drives, bake sales and other small-scale fundraising endeavors. The majority of the funds were provided out of pocket by team members.
Expenses include gas, team meals and room and board fee charged by the mission. Project costs (lumber, nails, etc.) are also paid by the teams not the work camp.
In 2001, the team decided that they needed to look into other fundraising options as the trip was costing team members hundreds of dollars each. The Oneida Area Little League happened to be looking for someone to run the Durhamville Fireman's Field concession stand, and thus the partnership began.