Ems step up to plate for COVID-19 relief

The Eugene Emeralds are doing their part to flatten the curve.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 6:12 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 6:25 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- It's still uncertain how summers at PK Park will look.

“I've got to assume if there’s a major league season then there will be a minor league season," Eugene Emeralds General Manager Allan Benavides said. "But I got to tell you, we don’t know.”

In the meantime the Emeralds are doing their part to help coronavirus relief. 

“We’re trying to collect stuff for our local partners at the hospital so at PeaceHealth and McKenzie-Willamette,“ Benavides said.

The team is holding a Personal Protective Equipment Drive at Kendall Toyota of Eugene on Saturday. People are encouraged to bring new and unused equipment to help health care providers. A list of items in need can be found on the team's website. Those who donate receive a voucher for tickets to a future Emeralds game.

The team also held a food and blood drive over the last few days. Those willing to donate dropped off canned goods and non-perishable items at the Moshofsky Center. The Emeralds plan to hold another food and blood drive on May 6 and 7. 

The Emeralds also worked with the American Red Cross for blood donations. The organization saw overwhelming support as every time slot to give blood was full. Forty-seven units of blood were collected on the first day alone. 

“With schools closing and that sort of thing their locations and their ability to host blood drives have actually dwindled. The university was great in trying to secure a location where we can do this indoors. They worked with us. We’re just happy to help, as little as we can, but like I said try to be a good partner in the community," Benavides said.

Known as the Lane County Mask Project, Megan Dompe, co-owner of Pillow Talk and wife of Emeralds Assistant General Manager Matt Dompe, transformed her business of personalized gifts to making mask kits for frontline workers.

“I have all of this equipment in my garage that’s not being used," Dompe said. "It could be put to good use for a project like this because masks are so needed in the community."

More than 2,000 mask kits were sent out to local sewers and volunteers. Once the masks are made the Emeralds front office staff delivers the masks to local hospitals, nursing homes and 4J school district employees who are working food distribution. Dompe said more than 1,100 masks have already been sent out.

“That’s kind of the goal is just to get as many people out there working or volunteering with essential services masks.”

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