Jones, Rangers visit Wayland Baptist University
January 25, 2012
PLAINVIEW – Plainview native and FOX Sports commentator Emily Jones was greeted by a cheering throng as she and members of the Texas Rangers organization entered the Pete and Nelda Laney Student Activities Center on the Wayland Baptist University campus Tuesday night. Jones was joined by Ranger pitchers Michael Kirkman and Cody Eppley, as well as bench coach Jackie Moore and radio announcer Steve Busby.
More than 400 people attended Tuesday’s event that ushered in the WBU Pioneer baseball season. The Rangers and Jones spent a few minutes answering questions, then posed for pictures and signed autographs for fans.
Tuesday’s “Raise the Turf” event not only signaled the opening of the Pioneers’ season, but ushered in a fundraising campaign to install turf on Wilder Field. The Wayland baseball program has already secured the turf and now must raise approximately $350,000 for installation.
Wayland Director of Corporate Development Mike Melcher is calling on community volunteers
to help raise the money. In so doing, two groups of volunteers will compete for vacation
packages. One group will include volunteers associated with Wayland, such as faculty,
staff or students. The other group will be people from the community who want to help
raise funds. The money turned in to the project will be tracked and the person from
each group who raises the most money will win either a 4-day, 3-night trip to Disneyland,
or a weekend trip to Arlington that includes tickets to a Rangers game and Six Flags.
Wayland will also raffle off more Rangers memorabilia at a later date.
Melcher hopes to have the necessary funds raised by July, but said that includes long-term pledges. All gifts will be accepted, including pledges of up to three years. Melcher said those interested in giving $1,000 who can’t afford to give it all at once can pledge $28 a month over a three-year period.
Anyone interested in helping raise funds to compete for the prize packages or in donating to the “Raise the Turf” campaign may contact Melcher at 806-291-3431 or by cell phone at 806-676-2060.