Umpires Jeff Cluff, Randy Upton and Brandon Riley from Salt Lake City take time out to visit kids at Primary Children’s Hospital and deliver Build-A-Bear® stuffed toys and LOTS of joy!
Founded through the compassion of Major League Baseball umpires, UMPS CARE Charities has now created a movement of giving back throughout the umpire community. NCAA baseball umpires in Salt Lake City – Randy Upton, Dax Upton and Brandon Riley – turned to UMPS CARE Charities to arrange a visit at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City where they delivered 100 Build-A-Bear® furry friends, outfits, baseball-themed activity books and more to young patients.
The local sports officials created a golf tournament, Official-ly FORE Kids, to raise funds to make the hospital visit, complete with Build-A-Bear® toys, for kids. So they hit the links on Monday and went to the hospital on Tuesday!
Including this visit today, UMPS CARE Charities, the official philanthropy of the Major League Baseball umpires, has now delivered 19,340 Build-A-Bear® stuffed toys to children undergoing treatment in pediatric hospitals across the United States and in Canada.
“This visit to Primary Children’s Hospital is so special because it shows how much the giving spirit is alive and well at all levels of umpiring,” said Jennifer Skolochenko-Platt, Executive Director at UMPS CARE Charities. “What started as a grassroots effort to give back at the Major League level has now expanded to all levels of umpires, and UMPS CARE Charities is so proud to see the Salt Lake City community come together to support cause.”
Randy Upton has spent 25 years in officiating, working at both the NCAA Division I and II levels in addition to the NJCAA Division I level. He currently serves as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Coordinator of Baseball Officials. His son, Dax, is now in his 11th season as a baseball umpire. Brandon Riley has spent more than two decades in umpiring and recently reached the Division I level. Randy and Dax Upton run Out West Officials Gear & Apparel (https://www.outwestofficials.com/), an umpire apparel outlet based in Salt Lake City.
In addition to Build-A-Bear® furry friends and outfits, UMPS CARE also provides each young patient with an activity book, crayons, baseball-styled stress balls and a promotion code to create their own TOPPS baseball card!
For information about how to get involved with UMPS CARE Charities and our BLUE for Kids hospital program, please email Jennifer Skolochenko-Platt at Jenn@UmpsCare.com