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Arizona Diamondbacks players Nick Ahmed, Luke Weaver, Steven Souza Jr. and Archie Bradley joined together on August 17 at Chase field to give a small group of fans a unique fantasy football draft experience, all while raising funds to benefit various nonprofits.
All proceeds raised go to Consider the Lily’s efforts to build a new home for sex-trafficking survivors in the Philippines, D-Backs Give, the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, building a community center in the Dominican Republic through Striking Out Poverty, and Big League Impact Global Initiatives.
Guided by Ahmed and Souza, attendees were given a one-of-a-kind tour of the underground clubhouse, locker room, physical therapy facilities, dugout, kitchen and private batting cages. The fans even got a chance to sit in the team’s coveted massage chairs! Attendees threw on the field, participated in a competitive, live football fantasy draft directly with the players, listened to the players speak about their charitable initiatives and took the field for batting practice, then wrapped up the night watching the Diamondbacks take on the San Francisco Giants.
This season, Ahmed, Diamondbacks’ shortstop and Gold Glove Winner, is campaigning to help restore and develop communities in both Phoenix and the Dominican Republic (DR). Ahmed and his wife Amanda have committed up to a $75,000 match to double every dollar raised to serve the homeless and hungry here in the Phoenix area. The match is also going toward building a community center in the DR that will serve as an early education and job training center as well as a medicine hub so the community can grow and thrive for generations to come.
Weaver, Diamondbacks’ pitcher, is campaigning to provide resources like medicine, medical supplies, construction materials as well as other necessities for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Luke and his wife Olivia donated $5,000 to kick off the campaign and with the help of matches from various partners, the starting amount was brought up to $110,000. In addition to that, throughout the season, Weaver has pledged $46 per strikeout, and with the addition of partner matches, every $1 equals $22, resulting in each strikeout amounting to a $1,000 payout.
“The collaboration between Striking Out Poverty and Big League Impact to make events like these happen has not only made a huge difference in the players and fans lives, but also in the lives of underserved communities around the world that are in need of immediate support” says Luke Weaver. “It’s a really good feeling knowing that the money raised is going toward some crucial efforts from installing water purification systems to providing refugees with the tools they need to survive.”
The overall Fantasy Impact draft winner will win an all-expense paid trip for two to their choice of Spring Training in Arizona or Florida. The champion in each market where there is a Fantasy Impact Draft event, will throw out a first pitch during the 2020 baseball season.