April 9, 2007
There is nothing better than raising money for a good cause by playing the game you love.
Well, maybe winning that game.
That will be the goal of the Hawkeyes on May 15 when they battle Northern Iowa in the Fourth Annual Corridor Classic presented by Cedar Rapids Toyota-Scion at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids. The event raises money for the American Diabetes Association.
“It’s about time for the Hawkeyes to start playing well in this game,” Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm joked at a press conference announcing the event Monday. “We’ve done a good job of raising a lot of money for the ADA, but hopefully we will be able to pull out a win as well this time.”
The Hawkeyes are 0-3 so far in the Corridor Classic, with UNI winning the first three by scores of 8-3, 8-6 and 4-2.
“We’ve been fortunate to play well in this game,” UNI Head Coach Rick Heller said. “I hope it continues.”
One thing that should help Iowa in its quest for victory is the progress the coaching staff has made in building up its pitching staff. As the team gets more quality arms in the program, the less the coaches have to worry about saving pitchers for the weekend Big Ten Conference games.
Another thing that should help out the event is the later date. This will be the first time the Corridor Classic has been played in May, which should mean warmer temperatures for both players and fans after three years of sub-par weather.
“Hopefully the weather will cooperate with us this year,” Heller said. “We’ve wanted to move the game back for the last few years, but it has been hard because we always have to deal with finals week and our conference tournaments. This year, things just worked out right.”
Warmer weather should also mean more fans can come out to enjoy the game.
“We look forward to this event every year,” Dahm said. “It’s gotten bigger and bigger, and we want to get to the point where it is a sell-out every year. I think we are starting to get to that point.”
Jack Dahm and Rick Heller
More fans also means more money raised for diabetes research and education in Eastern Iowa. In its three-years of existence, the Corridor Classic has helped raise over $300,000 for the ADA with contests like Kiss-a-Pig and the annual raffle. This year’s prize will be a $4,900 travel voucher good for anywhere in the world.
“This game has become the cornerstone of our fundraising efforts in Eastern Iowa,” said Rex Eno, chair of the Eastern Iowa Leadership Council of the ADA. “Those dollars we raise are very important both locally and nationally.”
Diabetes is the fastest growing major disease in the United States. The Center for Disease Control estimates that eight percent of the people in America have some form of diabetes.
The disease has hit home for Dahm, who’s father was diagnosed with diabetes three years ago.
“That definitely makes the event more important for me,” Dahm said. “When we started talking with the ADA about the event, Dad had not been diagnosed. I think I learned much of what I know about the disease through this game. It’s really been a great match for us, as they have helped take the game to a whole new level. Hopefully, we have been as helpful to them.”
Tickets to the event are available by calling the Cedar Rapids Kernels Ticket Office at (319) 896-7560.
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