Fundraiser expects to raise over $15,000


Maiah Woodring/The Lion’s Roar

The annual “First Pitch Banquet,” a fundraiser for the baseball team, will find a new location this year at the Le Fleur De Lis Reception Hall in Ponchatoula. This year, the athletic department expects an increase in both attendees and funding.

The university athletic department is organizing a fundraising event to promote and raise funds for the baseball team as well as increase community involvement.

The “First Pitch Banquet” is scheduled to be hosted at the Le Fleur De Lis Reception Hall in Ponchatoula on Feb. 1 from 7-10 p.m. The event will include fundraisers such as entrance fees, a silent auction and a raffle, and is expected to raise approximately $15,000. In addition to giving money, attendees will have the opportunity to win money back in a $2,000 cash drawdown.

Gillian Miculek, intern for Prevot, explained the purpose of the banquet.

Miculek said, “The purpose of the event really is to kick off baseball season and get the community and fans excited about the upcoming season and for seniors to be showcased and talk about their experience at Southeastern baseball and sort of just to get the community involved and raise money for the Diamond Club.”

The Diamond Club is the baseball coaches club, and people can join by donating for a one time payment or monthly. Donors can receive benefits for the donation amount at four levels.

Money raised at the banquet benefits the student-athletes as decided by the head coach and business manager.

“It is at the mercy of where the head coach wants it to go because it can go to equipment,” shared Prevot. “It can go to uniforms. It can go to trying to make sure the guys that go on a road trip get a better meal out of the trip, scholarship money.”

Coaches, their families, senior baseball players, donors, fans, alumni and Lion for Life Award winners are scheduled to attend.

“The Lion for Life Award is through baseball, somebody that’s special that has either donated a lot or come to every game or is a true supporter of baseball,” discussed Prevot. “So, they’re always invited as well to come every year ‘cause it’s during ‘First Pitch Banquet’ that the next person is awarded.”

The number of participants is anticipated to increase from the count of 220 last year.

Miculek said, “We expect a lot more attendance because we did a really good job on pushing it out through social media channels, using baseball as well, so there’s just a lot more promotion and a lot earlier that we started promoting it this year as well, so we think that may bring a lot more money.”

When choosing a location, Prevot searched for a different venue.

“We wanted somewhere new,” explained Prevot. “This is the first time that the ‘First Pitch Banquet’ has been at that event hall, and actually Taylor Marceaux recommended that that’s the next place we try. So, we try not to keep it at the same place too long just to keep interest going.”

According to Prevot, winning gifts and getting to know the baseball team incentivizes people to attend.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s really a social event,” shared Prevot. “It really is to catch up with people you know who are going to all the baseball games and that kind of stuff.”

Alumni and fans are welcome to attend at the price of $100 a seat, which will include dinner, a drawdown ticket, raffle book and a chance at the silent auction. Seats may be booked online, by mail or bought in-person at the banquet.