PARKVILLE, Mo. - Park University Athletics has three dates full of five games that will benefit Harvesters - The Community Food Network, as the Pirates celebrate the community's youth at Breckon Sports Center and Julian Field. For all five games, fans are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items at the ticket booth in exchange for free admission. Cash donations will also be accepted.
Park's Harvesters basketball doubleheaders have drawn as many as 2,000 pounds in past seasons. In 2017-18, Harvesters will benefit from five games, instead of two, covering Youth Nights at women's volleyball, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's basketball. The events will give fans an opportunity to see three teams that made 2016-17 NAIA national tournaments, as well as two American Midwest Conference champion teams from the 2016-17 season free of charge. The Pirates' Youth Nights to benefit Harvesters will feature American Midwest Conference rivals Missouri Baptist University and William Woods University.
Park's first youth event is at Julian Field, on Sept. 20, when the Pirates' soccer teams host Missouri Baptist in a doubleheader beginning with the women's soccer game between the Pirates and Spartans at 5 p.m. Park will invite club teams from around the Kansas City area to attend, in uniform, and all fans can gain free admission to the pair of games by donating cash or non-perishable food items.
A month later, on Oct. 26, the defending American Midwest Champion women's volleyball team hosts Missouri Baptist on Youth Night to benefit Harvesters. It's a match between the Pirates, who made the NAIA Fab Four after winning a conference title and the Spartans, who played in Sioux City for a spot in the bracket and finished runner up to the Pirates in the 2016 AMC regular season. The match begins at 6 p.m., and food or cash donations can be made in the Breckon Sports Center lobby.
Park's final Youth Night to benefit Harvesters is scheduled for Nov. 18, a Thursday night, when the Pirates' basketball teams host William Woods at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The women's basketball team takes on WWU, a team that made the NAIA national tournament last season, while the men play the Owls, as well, after WWU nearly made the field of 32 last season at Municipal Auditorium.
"The decision to expand our Harvesters nights was a very easy one," said Park director of athletics Claude English. "We've always done a basketball doubleheader as a benefit near the Thanksgiving holiday, but I believe we have a chance to make a much bigger impact by adding soccer and volleyball, and including our community's youth. I am excited to see this event grow and become even bigger than it has been in the past."
To learn more about Harvesters - The Community Food Network, visit https://www.harvesters.org/Learn/About.
About Harvesters—The Community Food Network
Harvesters is a regional food bank and was Feeding America's 2011 Food Bank of the Year. Serving a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, Harvesters provides food and related household products to more than 620 not-for-profit agencies including emergency food pantries, community kitchens, shelters and others. Agencies in Harvesters' network provide food assistance to as many as 141,500 different people each month. Harvesters, which was founded in 1979, is a certified member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, serving all 50 states. For more information, visit www.harvesters.org.