The Cheryl Lyn Welter Foundation has raised thousands of dollars to support underprivileged students in the La Porte and Starke County areas.
Now LaCrosse baseball coach Eric Snyder hopes his inaugural baseball camp at the high school can give the charitable organization a boost.
"I talked to Harold (Welter) at a camp and told him what we were going to do," Snyder said. "We've been friends a long time. He's the most humble guy I know. He goes from school to school to help kids. He was thrilled."
Cheryl Lyn Welter was a member of the Knox High School Class of 2001. An active student-athlete with a giving heart, Welter was killed in a car accident the night before homecoming her senior year. Her father, Harold, a radio personality at WKVI, subsequently initiated an endowment in her memory to provide grants through local schools to help students pay for things like lunches, books and field trips.
Snyder will host an inaugural camp from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday that is expected to draw 50 kids. At $30 per camper, it will raise $1,500, all of which will go to the foundation.
"We're pretty close (to 50) already," Snyder said. "We kept it very reasonable. Harold keeps advertising it on the radio. I'm scared we're going to get more. Somebody was telling me if I had done it myself, I could've made two grand, but the smiles that will be created (by the donation) are payment enough."
The former Tigers coach who is returning to the dugout this spring, Snyder has pulled in some well-known names from the local baseball community to participate in the camp. The list includes Brian 'Chico' Lipscomb (La Porte), who will be part of his LaCrosse staff, David Shinn (Elston) and Joel Reinbold (South Bend Clay). Snyder's son, RJ, who plays at Grace College, Colin Mack (IUSB), and his dad, Cory, the former coach at Morgan Township, will also be involved, along with members of the Tigers baseball team.
"I want them to understand about winning, but a big part of what I teach all kids is about giving back," Snyder said.
The camp will feature a range of drill stations to work with kids on their baseball skills. They'll also have their base running speed timed. Bailey's Discount store in North Judson donated 100 T-shirts and pizza will also be provided for lunch.
"The kids will get their money's worth," Snyder said. "My son's 9, so I told Harold I've got 10 years and we're going to keep doing this. If it gets bigger, I may have to make it three hours and three sessions."