The Gateway Grizzlies are always on the lookout for local families, couples, and individuals who are willing to open their homes to host a Grizzlies player (or players) for our 3 week spring training camp and/or for our 4 month season. The Host Family Program is vital to the success of the team and offers players a home away-from-home during the season by matching them with local families. The responsibilities are minimal for the chance to build a bond with a Grizzlies player that can last a lifetime!
WHY BECOME A HOST FAMILY?
As a host family, you receive multiple perks and privileges (listed below), but the greatest benefit of all is the chance to witness first-hand the excitement, exhilaration, and occasional heartaches that befall these young men as they live their life-long dream of playing professional baseball.
HOST FAMILY BENEFITS:
- Free full-season tickets (50+ home games per season)
- VIP cards pre-loaded for food at the ballpark
- Pre-season dinner to meet with all other host families
- Party suite with catering on host family appreciation night
- Pre-game host family salute ceremony on-field before last game of the year
- Discount in Izzy's Den Team Store
- Host family T-shirt
- And many more benefits!
WHAT'S EXPECTED OF HOST FAMILIES?
Host families should offer the player(s) a private bedroom and meals. Host families must be very understanding of the player’s hectic schedule. Families should understand that during the season, the players basically work a 2nd shift job, coming home late and sleeping late.
TESTIMONIES FROM OUR HOST FAMILIES:
Don't take it from us! The existing host families share their own thoughts and opinions on what it feels like to be a second parent to these players.
"Ken & I have been a Host Family from the Grizzlie beginning---so we are starting year number 16. We love helping the players. We take them in & treat them as family from day one. We miss them when they leave in September & cannot wait for the season to start in May. We stay in touch with many players----attend weddings, graduations, & many other activities. We now have a very, very large family!!"
- The Jones Family
"Our Host Family Journey began a few years ago when our son Andrew was attending the University of Kansas and was a starting Pitcher for the Jayhawks. Baseball was so much a part of our lives but in the summers the players were sent away to play in the various Collegiate leagues across the country and had to live with Host Families so we didn't always get to watch our son play.
We did have the opportunity to travel to meet his host family and was impressed with their love of the game, the dedication to the program and as a parent I loved how they always made sure that I knew how my son was doing (that's important to moms).
We thought being a part of the Grizzlies organization was a way for us to pay it forward and signed up while our son was still in college. We didn't always get to see our son play while he was away so having a player with us in the summer filled that baseball void.
I think we're now on our 10th year and we've met some amazing young men along the way. I try to stay in touch with as many as possible, providing references for future employers, business resources, those players may just become future clients! Now we're grandparents and not only do we have a new generation of Grizzlie fans, but it also allows us to show our grandchildren that you gain much more by opening your home and heart to others and those lessons cannot be taught in books. We can't wait for the new season to start!"
- The Marks Family
"I'm looking forward to the 12th summer of hosting Grizzlie ballplayers. Each summer has been special. It is a blessing and privilege to host the players who come from many regions of our country. Each player provides a positive contribution to my life. I've had only great experiences. The players have given me more than I have given them. It is a joy to meet both the players and their families. In addition to the gratitude of the players, I've had wonderful, appreciative support from the entire Grizzlies' staff."
- Mr. Groennert
"Being a host family for the Gateway Grizzlies has allowed us to open our home to build lifelong friendships with the players. They become more then a guest, they become part of your family. Being a host family allows the players to have a place to call home while pursuing their path of dreams."
-The Schnarre Family
THANK YOU LETTERS FROM OUR PLAYERS:
After being shown love and support over the course of the season, the Grizzlies' players like to give back and write personal thank you letters to their family. Below are just a few of the many thank you's that were sent to host families for their generosity this past season:
"Jim and Evelyn,
I cannot thank you enough for your grace and kindness to open your home to the four of us. From your consistent effort in preparing meals for us, to keeping your home a safe place for us to relax and wind down after games, we appreciate ALL that you do. You help allow us to continue our dream by reducing extra stress through your hospitality. From the bottom of my heart, thank you."
"Dear Frank and Susan,
Thank you so much for your continued love and support over the past three seasons. Without your hospitality and selflessness it would have not been possible for me to be a part of the Grizzlies for the past three seasons. Thank you for your continued generosity and all you have done to help me chase my dreams!"
"Thank you so much for everything you all do for us. We are so grateful. Your generosity offering up your homes for us does not go unnoticed. We can't thank you enough for your support!!
HOW DO I BECOME A HOST FAMILY?
Download a host family application to print and fill out by hand. Then, submit it through one of the following methods:
- EMAIL - Send the completed form via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: Host Families)
- FAX - 618.332.3625
- MAILING ADDRESS - Gateway Grizzlies, Attn: Host Families, 2301 Grizzlie Bear Blvd., Sauget, IL 62206.
- DROP OFF IN PERSON - Drop off your completed application at our front office during office hours (M-F: 9am-5pm).
For more information, contact Shannon Lacker at 618.337.3000 (ext. 12) or email@example.com.