The Umpires Give Back

Two Wheeling social service agencies scored winning runs thanks to donations from local umpires.

The Ohio Valley Board of Approved Umpires recently donated $200 in Kroger gift cards to Catholic Charities 18th Street Neighborhood Center and The Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling.

“Being 100 percent community-funded, this is a blessing. We don’t have an umbrella over us,” Becky Shilling-Rodocker, the soup kitchen’s executive director said.

Last year the soup kitchen served about 130,000 free meals to those in need. According to Shilling-Rodocker, the money will most likely go toward the purchase of meat.

She referenced the donation’s timing as the soup kitchen’s programming and number of people served are both increasing.

“They’re a nonprofit giving to a nonprofit,” Shilling-Rodocker said, adding that Donald Morris, president of the Ohio Valley Board of Approved Umpires, and Ron Pickens, secretary, were able to actually see the soup kitchen at work during their visit. She hopes some of the baseball players will consider coming in as well.

“We try to give back,” Morris said about the organization. Pickens added there is an obvious need to support local efforts such as those at the soup kitchen and Catholic Charities.

Reindel also expressed his appreciation for the donation. Both agreed donations to the organizations tend to drop off after the Christmas holidays but the number of people the two organizations feed continues to climb.

Although this marks the organization’s first donation to these specific charities, The Ohio Valley Board of Approved Umpires grants $500 scholarships to local athletes selected based on need through an application process.

In the past, the umpires organization also has donated to The House of the Carpenter and the American Cancer Society.