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S.B. Cubs begin fundraising for foundation with First Pitch Banquet

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - There are still 80 days until baseball returns to Four Winds Stadium, but the South Bend Cubs marked the ceremonial beginning of baseball and softball season with the First Pitch Banquet. However, the event also kicked off the 2018 fundraising efforts for the South Bend Cubs Foundation.

The banquet was headlined by a Q&A session with Notre Dame softball coach Deanna Gumpf and Chicago Cubs bench coach Brandon Hyde.

"The relationship with South Bend is phenomenal," said Hyde, who was impressed by the stadium and turnout. "Just look around, this facility is incredible.”

While the facilities are nice, the foundation mainly focuses on supporting and improving the youth experience both on and off the diamond.

“Our teachers play a huge role in that," said Mark Haley, the former manager and founder of South Bend Cubs Foundation. "We’re trying to find coaches who are teachers. We’re trying to find mentors that can take our kids and put them in the right direction, because that’s the foundation.”

For Hyde, this message of community reaches far beyond South Bend - it matters to the Major League club as well.

“So many guys that give back. Our Cubs charity department is second to none," he said. "Our guys really care and I think it starts at the top with our ownership group.”

If the foundation truly accomplishes its goal, the kids will see that the work they put into the game will render itself useful long after they are done playing.

“Really enjoy youth sports, enjoy playing with your buddies," said Hyde. "Enjoy the process of working hard with your friends and creating memories. Then your future will take care of itself.”

The South Bend Cubs season begins April 5 with the home opener at Four Winds Field on April 7.

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