The Pawhuska baseball team has a new banner in the outfield.
At the beginning of the baseball season the Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino presented the team with an $800 sponsorship and banner at Pawhuska High School baseball field.
Pawhuska coach Brandon Poteet said he and some parents wrote up a grant, submitted their application for sponsorship and received the funds about three weeks ago.
He said the sponsorship has helped with the funding necessary to run the baseball program.
“It feels great because we try so hard and we want to take care of our kids and be able to supply them with the equipment,” Poteet said. “Our whole funds go to officials, jerseys, uniforms, game balls, anything and everything we need to operate.”
Poteet said they heard of the sponsorship opportunity through simple world of mouth.
He said baseball is an expensive sport so the program was looking for any help they could get to buy equipment to match their new baseball field.
The baseball team found that officials can cost about $800 a season, tournaments run about $500-$600 a year, and new balls could cost up to 300 dollars a season.
Poteet said the $800 sponsored by the Casino has gone toward the purchase of a new baseball net that totals about $1,100.
Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino-Pawhuska general manager Eli Red Eagle said the casino and sponsorship and donation program helps wherever it can.
“We try to support every sport that we can,” Red Eagle said. “At Pawhuska we have numerous (Huskie) alumni that work there at the Million Dollar Elm, we also have parents of players in almost every sports, so we try to be involved as much as we can, we also donate to other communities (like) Barnsdall, it’s not just to Pawhuska.”
But it’s a first for the Pawhuska baseball program, as far as Poteet knows.
Red Eagle said they have also sponsored rodeo clubs and community events.
He said it’s important that the casino has a part in all aspects of the community.
“Just to let them know that we do support you, we’re going to be there at the games, we’re going to cheer on with you all and be a part of the community because we are,” he said.
Poteet couldn’t agree more. He said it’s nice to see the banner in the outfield as it reminds the team and spectators of the support they have.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that the casino is there to help those who need it,” Poteet said. “It was awesome, definitely a blessing for us.”