FARMINGTON — Vickie Campbell and the Connie Mack World Series Foster Family program are searching for families willing to house players for this year's tournament.
The first day of the 52nd annual Connie Mack World Series falls on Friday, July 29. Campbell, wife of Brad Campbell, the general chairman of the CMWS, has been running the program since 2004. As of today, she said she is about 15 families short of her goal to recruit 90 San Juan County host families.
"We probably have between 70 and 75 families so far, and right now, we're trying to really start pushing to get those solid numbers we're after," Campbell said.
Every year, the program accommodates nine of the 12 teams. One of those three remaining teams is the local host, while two others stay in hotels. Foster families provide a bed, food, transportation, and washer and dryer access to the players in return for free admission to all the games.
Campbell said the reaching-out process is going as planned for this point of the month, but she is running out of contacts. Now, she's leaning on already confirmed foster families, as well as businesses in the area, to lend a hand.
"Really, I'm trying to network within the families that we have, because that's the best way to get new families, is for them to tell neighbors and co-workers about it," Campbell said. "There have been a lot of restaurants around town who have been offering incentives, where, if you come in and buy one meal, you get a meal free. So Texas Roadhouse is doing that, and companies are calling and offering to help with things like that."
Not all families are cut out to foster players, Campbell said, as some people don't have the extra space or the free time to transport players to all their practices, team meetings and games. But the families who do choose to participate will enjoy the experience, and likely find themselves very invested in this year's CMWS, she said.
"It's a really fun experience. It's not just something you have to have young kids to do. Even if you don't have kids, it's fun for couples whose kids don't live at home anymore," Campbell said. "It's great for the community. Makes it fun cheering for games."
Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.
How to get involved
Those interested in becoming a foster family can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.