Louisville Ford Manufacturing Plants Score Homerun with Joint Baseball Outing

Ford team members, fundraising, and family fun won when Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant came together to enjoy America’s pastime at a Minor League baseball game on August 21st. Louisville is home to not only two Ford manufacturing plants, but also the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds’ AAA-affiliate team.

The Bats approached Louisville Assembly Plant with the opportunity to attend a game. When Chrisey Lyon, administrative assistant to the plant manager, brought the idea before the plant’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, they helped spread the word. In the weeks leading up to the game, the plants sold special edition t-shirts in Bats colors (blue for Kentucky Truck and red for Louisville Assembly) with the proceeds going to their chosen charities. At Louisville Assembly Plant, t-shirt sales raised $1500 for March of Dimes.

The plants also hosted Buddy Bat, the Bats’ mascot who posed for photos, gave away vintage cards, and boosted ticket sales. A winged mammal with an easy smile, Buddy Bat is also a clever nod to the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bat crafted down the street from the Slugger Field, where the Bats play.

On game day, Ford team members and their guests filled nearly 400 of the stadium’s seats to root for the home team. Current employees, retirees, vendors, local UAW President Todd Dunn, and even March of Dimes representatives attended. Members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council had hoped the event would bring people together—and it did.

Throughout the game, Ford team members and their children participated in special activities. Louisville Assembly Plant’s UAW Building Chairman, Brandon Reisinger, threw out the first pitch. Children delivered the game ball to the umpire, yelled “play ball!” to kick off the game, and participated in trivia. They also played on inflatables, dined on free hot dogs, and met Buddy Bat.

While there were two rain delays, Lyon said, “The rain did not take away from anyone’s good time, by no means.” Several times throughout the game, the cameraman focused on the Ford section while the announcer said, “Let me see where you are at Ford employees!” He was met with boisterous cheers and enthusiastic waves.

The gathering was a first for the plants, who hope this becomes an annual tradition. “This year’s shirts feature a ‘22’ on the back; we would like to make this a yearly event,” explained Margie Rios-Brown, the team member who operates Louisville Assembly Plant’s store where merchandise (such as the shirts) is sold to benefit charities like March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes representatives who attended the game shared their gratitude for the additional funding received from Louisville Assembly’s t-shirt sales. Kaye Page, senior director for corporate engagement, said in a statement, “Thank you, LAP! We had a wonderful time at the game. Rain or no rain, you showed up in force—we saw the Ford red and blue shirts everywhere. It was so fun! The work you do to support March of Dimes is so very important and we are truly grateful. Your fundraising efforts as part of UAW-Ford’s national team make a difference to so many. Together we help every mom and every baby have the best possible start. Looking forward to next year!” Donor development specialist Kara Hawk added, “This year marks Louisville Assembly’s 20th year of participation. Since that first year, the plant has raised $599,651.00. What an impact for Moms and babies!”

Louisville Assembly Plant’s team was proud to support March of Dimes and happy to have a chance to spend time together. Erica Nevitt, training development leader at Louisville Assembly, said, “I really enjoyed seeing everyone outside of the work setting and getting to meet our co-workers’ families & friends.” Reisinger agreed. “My family and I had a great time! It was great hanging out with my Ford family and watching the game.” Georgia Hutchinson, a Eurest contractor who supports Louisville Assembly, enjoyed her Sunday at the stadium. “It was so nice to be included in such a fun event and treated like family by all. My favorite part was seeing the families interact and support the plants by wearing their shirts proudly. I hope this is something that happens every year and continues to get larger and larger!”

  • Sep-09-2022
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