Jays Care grants $100K in disaster relief to support community baseball across Canada

Funding to six organizations will help rebuild, enhance, or refurbish baseball diamonds affected by natural disasters and get communities back to play

June 30th, 2022

Ahead of Canada Day, Jays Care Foundation, the charitable arm of the Toronto Blue Jays, is proud to announce the 2022 Back To Play Disaster Relief Program, which grants infrastructure investments of more than $100,000 to support Canadian baseball organizations and communities impacted by natural disasters.

Five communities in British Columbia and one in Nova Scotia, which were impacted by extreme flooding and wildfires in 2021, have received funding to support their efforts to get kids back to baseball. The grants provided will allow communities to repair, rebuild, or replace local diamond infrastructure and equipment to allow kids to safely get back to connecting and learning through sport. A complete list of recipients is below:

  1. Abbotsford, BC – Abbotsford Angels Hard Ball
  2. Funding supports maintenance equipment; mound repairs; new infield turf; dugout replacement; new catchers gear; lime machine; new bases; and pitching rubber following last year’s devastating flooding
  3. Lytton, BC – Lytton First Nation
  4. Funding supports outfield surface restoration, new bases and baseballs, and maintenance equipment following last year’s flooding and wildfires
  5. New Westminster, BC – New Westminster Baseball
  6. Funding supports a protective tarp for batting cages to extend playing hours
  7. Princeton, BC – Town of Princeton
  8. Funding supports an infield drag groomer, levelling bar, and puddle sponge to ensure the integrity of the playing surface.
  9. Sunshine Coast, BC – Sunshine Coast Baseball Association
  10. Funding supports a weighted tarp to extend playing hours
  11. Antigonish, NS – Antigonish Challenger Baseball
  12. Funding supports reconstruction of an accessible pathway to the local Challenger Baseball diamond following flooding in the community


“Jays Care is proud to provide relief funding to these six organizations and communities affected by natural disasters in 2021. We believe that now, more than ever, it is vital for kids to have spaces where they can bounce back from life’s challenges through safely playing, connecting, and learning. It is crucial that we lend a helping hand to members of our Blue Jays Community in times that they need it most, and hope that this will aid these communities in getting back to play in 2022.” – Robert Witchel, Executive Director, Jays Care Foundation.

"Jays Care has taken Challenger Baseball to the next level across Canada. Their support directly impacts all aspects of our program: on-field play, off-field activities, our fields, training, education, equipment, and more. The Back To Play Disaster Relief Program allowed our coordinators to concentrate on what is most important, which is getting our athletes back onto the field, playing, and growing." – Randy Crouse, Antigonish Challenger Baseball Coordinator.

‘Having this field gives our athletes a place to come that is their own. They know when they come to this field, they will have fun, and as a parent, I know that they will be safe and treated fairly, without judgement." – Mother of an Antigonish Challenger Baseball Athlete.

"Nine years ago, my child didn't have any opportunities to participate in sports. Now, he not only has a team to play on, but he has a field that he can call his home. There is something powerful about hearing my son describe the field to his friends and family." – Father of an Antigonish Challenger Baseball Athlete.