April 12, 2017 — The Arc Southern Maryland looks forward to the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs’ visit every year. This year marks the Blue Crabs’ 10thAnnual Community Caravan, when players take time away from their practice schedules to visit with fans and organizations throughout Southern Maryland, finding various ways to give back to their community. For six years, the Blue Crabs have joined The Arc Southern Maryland at the park to play a game of pick-up baseball which is inclusive and fun for people of all abilities.
Each year, The Arc invites employees and people they support to join in, with everyone getting a turn to “run” the bases – whether they’re running, rolling along in their wheelchair, scooting along with their walker, or even being supported by their favorite staff person. For these individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, there’s no barrier that keeps them from playing ball, and no limit to the number of smiles on the mound!
Six members of the Blue Crabs team came out on Wednesday for the Community Caravan visit with The Arc. “We have lots of friends here today,” Katie Wood said of the Blue Crabs players. Katie began receiving Community Learning Services with The Arc last year. This was Katie’s first year attending the Community Caravan event and she is already looking forward to their next visit.
The Blue Crabs give back in different ways for each place they visit during their Community Caravan tour. While The Arc Southern Maryland just asks that they play a little ball, the Blue Crabs do so much more than that – helping people to run the bases, teaching them the best batting stance, and cheering them on as they hit the ball across the field or make their way through the bases. The Blue Crabs team members also make time to sign autographs and do a “meet and greet” for a crowd that has grown to well over 100 attendees from The Arc.
Employees of The Arc that have been around year after year attest to the absolute joy and excitement brought to the individuals they support, with just a couple hours of baseball. Matthew Hoepfl, a program manager for The Arc, said, “To see the excitement on the faces of the individuals we support from all three counties was truly something.” “It’s great to see the players connect with the individuals,” says Jennie Parran, The Arc’s Executive Assistant. She says the individuals supported at The Arc “look forward to this day of fun” each and every year.
To support the Blue Crabs, visithttp://www.somdbluecrabs.com/ to get your tickets for an upcoming game. Opening day is Thursday, April 20th, with the first pitch at 6:35 PM.
The Arc Southern Maryland creates opportunities for independence and personal success for people with different abilities in inclusive communities. Since 1975, The Arc has become the leading advocate for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living and working in Southern Maryland. For information about The Arc Southern Maryland, call 410-535-2413 or visit www.arcsomd.org