Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, will get some tender love and care this summer thanks to a volunteer program we’re organizing in conjunction with Tourism Cares of Canton, Massachusetts.
Tourism Cares volunteers will work from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, June 12. And although details are still in the works, they will likely focus on painting, landscaping and repairing certain sections of bleachers that have long been neglected. After 3:30 p.m., the work team will be invited to relax and celebrate over barbeque fare and a game of whiffle ball on the Doubleday grounds.
The daylong volunteer effort is part of a six-day trip being offered up by Sports Travel and Tours from June 8-13 called Going Yard: Give Back to Baseball. In addition to helping repair Doubleday Field, participants will spend an additional day there as spectators to a baseball game. They will also have the chance to visit Yankee Stadium and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
This will not be the first time that Sports Travel and Tours, owned by Jay Smith, will partner with Tourism Cares, a nonprofit organization that arranges volunteer events to improve tourism-related sites. Jessica Ahern, director of events at Tourism Cares, said Jay has been an active participant in Tourism Cares’ events, both large and small.
“Giving back to the places where we travel really resonates with Jay,” Jessica says. “He offered the opportunity to help up to his clients so they can also have that experience.”
The Sports Travel and Tours event marks more than one first for Tourism Cares.
Typically, the organization’s volunteer events are only open to people who are employed in the travel industry. This event, though, is the first to be open to the general public, but through Sports Travel and Tours’ Going Yard tour only. The volunteer experience at Doubleday will also be offered to members of local industries in the surrounding area.
The Doubleday site is also Tourism Cares’ first sports-related venue, Jessica says. “We’re always doing something a little bit different,” Jessica says, noting that volunteer opportunities have been held at such venues as history museums and national parks. Last fall, Tourism Cares even held an event on a historic battleship.
Tourism Cares was formed in the early 2000s, when the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and the National Tour Association (NTA) merged into one entity. The volunteering facet of the organization began in 2003 with a trip to Ellis Island in response to a presidential call for all Americans to volunteer a certain number of hours each year.
“Our mission is to bring professionals from all over the country, and, in some cases, the world to give back to tourism-related sites that need our care and attention,” Jessica says. “Through our mission, we hope to preserve and enhance the travel experience for future generations.”
Jessica says the Cooperstown event allows Tourism Cares to further its mission, creating a movement within travelers that will encourage them to give back to their community. She believes that experiencing Doubleday Field through Sports Travel and Tours Cooperstown event will give participants a new perspective on volunteering and the importance of preserving historic sites.