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Families needed for WV Power Adopt-A-Player program

By Charlotte Ferrell Smith, Religion reporter
Appalachian Power Park is celebrating its 10th season of baseball and family fun. Daily Mail file photo.

A few more host families are needed for the West Virginia Power Adopt-a-Player program.

Host families help baseball players for the West Virginia Power feel welcome as they learn their way around the area. They may provide an occasional meal, offer assistance with locating housing, or loan a few pieces of furniture or other necessities such as pots and pans.

Robin Black, coordinator of the program for 12 years, said players began arriving in Charleston last Monday and most slots are filled for host families. However, she could use a couple more and likes to have some extras to call upon as needed.

She and her husband, Jason, have been part of the program since its beginning more than two decades ago when they first became host parents. They have not missed a season since then.

“My husband and I love baseball,” she said. “We thought it would be a nice community service to help the players out. We don’t have children. We like getting to know these guys every season. If it wasn’t fun I wouldn’t have done it for 25 years. Jason and I have followed these guys up the ladder to major league games. It’s amazing. Over the years Jason and I have had seven players who made the major leagues. We’ve been to players’ weddings. If the players don’t stay in touch, their parents do.”

The players are usually age 18 to mid 20s and most of them have never previously been to Charleston, she said.

It’s a winning situation for host families as well as players as friendships are formed.

“We loan them furniture, dishes, beds, anything that makes them comfortable,” she said. “We do a monthly dinner for the players and a catered dinner at the end of the season. Those that can make scrapbooks for the players. I do a DVD and a yearbook for every single player.”

Host families sometimes invite players to their homes for meals or take them out to eat. They cheer for them at games, including some away games that require a road trip.

Getting involved is so much fun that some host families make it a tradition to remain involved each year.

Anyone interested in the West Virginia Power Adopt-a-Player program may contact Robin Black at 304-727-2893.

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