HIRAM, OHIO — Hiram College alum and former baseball player Joe Trela ’09 is continuing his work gathering baseball equipment to benefit the children of Nicaragua. Trela began the equipment drive last year and it has evolved into Up2Bat for Nicaragua.
In 2007, Trela visited Nicaragua on a study abroad trip where in addition to his studies, he witnessed the passion the Nicaraguans had for the game of baseball. He took part in school-yard pickup games with high school students who had only three gloves, bases made of crumbled cinder block and a homemade baseball made of cloth and plastic bags.
When he began the equipment drive in 2009, Trela enlisted the help of other local colleges, high schools, the Cleveland Indians and other organizations and individuals that resulted the collection of over 1,000 pieces of equipment.
Trela is continuing his work this year with the Up2Bat for Nicaragua equipment drive in the search of new and used baseball or softball equipment. Trela, along with representatives from the Hiram College Student Athlete Advisory Committee will be collecting equipment at all home Terrier baseball games at Fishel Field.
The United States Air Force will transport the equipment to Nicaragua through their humanitarian aid program, The Denton Plan. The efforts to collect equipment will be combined with those of the Hiram College Rotaract Club, which is conducting a clothing drive with similar intentions for Nicaragua. Nicaraguan Rotary Clubs will receive and distribute the gear to villages and schools.
For more information about the Up2Bat for Nicaragua equipment drive, please visit www.Up2Bat.org. The site is regularly updated and features photo galleries, stories and other information about how you can get involved?