SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – NCAA Baseball umpires delivered tons of smiles along with some cuddly soft support to Primary Children’s Hospital this week.
Local Umps Randy Upton, Dax Upton, and Brandon Riley worked through the official charity of Major League Baseball umpires, UMPS CARE Charities to bring a Build-A-Bear Workshop experience to the children at Primary Children’s.
The local Umps delivered 100 Build-A-Bear furry friends along with outfits for the stuffed animals, baseball-themed activity books, crayons, baseball-styled stress balls, and promotion codes for patients to create their very own TOPPS baseball card.
“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.”
UMPS CARE was founded in 2006 focusing on the compassion of MLB Umpires. They work to provide financial, in-kind, and emotional support for America’s youth and families in need. Their mission puts into action the established creed, “Helping People Is An Easy Call.”
The Primary Children’s delivery was made possible thanks to the Uptons and Riley along with fundraising efforts during the Official-ly FORE Kids charity golf tournament, which was held on Sept. 18 at Links at Sleepy Ridge in Orem.
Randy Upton has spent more than 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 12th season as a baseball umpire. Brandon Riley has spent more than two decades in umpiring and recently reached the Division I level. The Uptons run Out West Officials Gear & Apparel, an umpire apparel outlet based in Salt Lake City. 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