BRISTOL - The Bristol Blues baseball team is seeking host families for its players for the upcoming summer season.
Each summer, players from around the country arrive in need of a home for the circuit that runs from the end of May through the beginning of August.
The Host Family program has been a crucial aspect of providing those athletes with a comfortable, welcoming setting, and often the players end up becoming more than just a guest in the host home.
“What I love most about hosting is getting to know our host son and his family and then having someone to cheer for all season,” host family coordinator Tammy Kelly said. “We’ve kept in touch with them and other players and their families throughout the years. We also love meeting the other families who host and have made great new friends and have fun at the games with them.
“They have all been friendly, generous and [are] just all-around a wonderful group of people. You also get a good feeling about being a part of making Bristol a better place. You’re helping the Blues organization, [which is] providing affordable family entertainment in Bristol, and the Blues boys are required to do some type of community service while they are here, so the boys are also giving back to our community.”
Benefits of being a host family include season passes for the entire family that lives in the household, a 20 percent discount off merchandise/concessions, a small mid-season stipend to cover host costs, Host Family Appreciation Night in which each family throws out a first pitch to their player and Host Family Dugout Night when families may watch the game from the dugout suite. Families also receive all fan giveaways, even if they do not attend the game.
Host families must provide their players a clean, private bedroom, access to a bathroom and laundry room, food and a parking place. If the player does not have his own car, host families are not responsible for providing transportation. Families must commit to a full season and must be willing to accept a new player into their home if a player leaves at any time throughout the season.
Host family members over the years have enjoyed opening their homes to the athletes, who typically have no trouble adjusting to their new surroundings.
“Meeting these young men that have such dreams and aspirations for baseball,” is one of the things host Mae Palmisano said she loves the most about being part of the program.
“The fact they do not know where they will be staying and they come into our home and make us feel like they live here,” is another key aspect, she said. “They adapt so well to us and the community, not to mention the network we have built with the families over the last five years. It has been a great pleasure for us to share with them their hopes and dreams of baseball.”
If you are interested in becoming a host family, or have any other questions, call host family coordinator Tammy Kelly at 860-874-8239, or email .
Zack Carpenter can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org