Storm Chasers Suit up to Serve

May 22, 2015  |     |   General

     The Storm Chasers, formerly known as the Omaha Royals, are in their fifth season at Werner Park in Sarpy County.
     Even during their season, the players and staff care about serving in Omaha, starting their first annual Chasers Community Week the first week of May.  In an effort to give back, they assisted an elderly woman in Midtown with painting and yard cleanup, visited Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, and volunteered at Open Door Mission.
     Although they served lunch as a part of their Chasers Community Week, the Storm Chasers have volunteered several times.  Amy Harvey, Volunteer and Partner Director at Open Door Mission, explained that it’s not typical to get help from athletes at that level.  “It’s exciting for guests when they see someone from the team, just the fact that someone from the team is supportive of them,” she said.
     The Storm Chasers have earned a reputation for their involvement in the community.  The group’s outreach ranges from volunteering and attending events to donating money, averaging about 75 hours of community service from players and office staff per month.
Last month Cordaro received the Jack Lewis Community Service Award at the Omaha Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
     Martie Cordaro, the team’s President and General Manager, is a big part of the community outreach.  When Cordaro joined in 2007, the group was involved in some 20 community-driven organizations. Today the Chasers help more than 60.  The community involvement isn’t required, but highly encouraged.
     “I think it empowers people to know that if they need to take a two-hour lunch, not necessarily to go have lunch, but to go down to the Open Door Mission … it’s OK.  We want you to do that,” Cordaro said.  “I’ve never told anyone no for volunteer hours, because our staff finds the time to get their day-by-day tasks done.”
     Buddy Baumann, a third year pitcher with the Storm Chasers, does something in the community about once a month.  The team often offers serving opportunities, and he enjoys signing up, despite a busy schedule.
     “It’s nice for people to see a sports figure…doing good and showing love to the community,” Baumann said.  “It’s nice especially to be that ambassador for athletes.”

This blog post was adapted from Emily Nohr, Omaha World-Herald Staff Writer’s story.  To view the full story, click here.