Giving Back

Main Street Baseball Giving Back

At Main Street Baseball, our teams know that no matter how tough we may think life is, there are always those whose challenges are far tougher than ours. That's why we don't just talk about giving back; it's why our clubs have some of the most generous charitable programs in all of Minor League Baseball.

"Modern Woodmen and the Quad Cities River Bandits will be making a donation to the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Disaster Recovery Fund from funds raised during a salute-to-first responders jersey auction as part of the “Modern Woodmen Night” game that was held on July 26.

Modern Woodmen and the Bandits will present a check for $5,000 to the Quad Cities Community Foundation’s Disaster Recovery Fund during the Bandits game on Wednesday. Modern Woodmen President and CEO Jerry Lyphout and River Bandits owner Dave Heller will present the check to Anne E. Calder, Vice President of the Quad Cities Community Foundation."

-KWQC-TV, August 28, 2023

"The team is excited to support local nonprofits and causes with proceeds from game-worn jersey auctions benefiting the Iowa Donor Network on Donate Life Night, May 26, Vera French on Mental Health Awareness Night, June 9, and Hand in Hand on Disabilities Empowerment Night, July 15. The team is also giving away free amusement rides to veterans, reservists, and active-duty military on August 19 and September 2."

-KWQC-TV, April 7, 2023

"During each “Copa Wednesday” home game, Bandits players wore a specialty 'Bandidos del Río' uniform featuring Rascal wearing a sombrero and signature bandana in a serape-inspired design. These jerseys were auctioned off and raised $25,000 to be donated to a local charity selected by Group O, which chose LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) to receive those funds....the funds raised will be split between the Davenport and Moline LULAC councils, and will support four scholarships.", November 11, 2022

"Off the field, Heller is equally proud of how the River Bandits have contributed to the community. The proceeds from many of the ballpark’s amusement rides have led to hundreds of thousands of dollars being donated to Quad-Cities area charitable endeavors.

Through a partnership with Genesis Health Systems and its foundation, the River Bandits and their fans have become leading contributors to the three youth-based programs — Flu-Free Quad Cities, Camp Genesis for children impacted by cancer and the Genesis neonatal care units.

The River Bandits also established the Bandit Scholars program, which annually funds multiple full-tuition scholarships and has grown into the largest scholarship program overseen by any team in minor-league baseball.

In addition to jersey auctions benefiting multiple organizations annually, the River Bandits also raised over $100,000 for flood relief."

-Quad-City Times, May 30, 2022

"The Quad Cities River Bandits have made a second generous challenge grant, this one for $40,000, to support Genesis Philanthropy and the Genesis Family Connects program. The River Bandits, champions on the field in the High-A Central League in 2021, continued as champions off the field for Genesis Foundation initiatives benefiting children. In December, the River Bandits donated $50,000 to the Genesis Foundation.", January 29, 2022

"Before cutting into a cake to celebrate his birthday Friday, Quad Cities River Bandits owner Dave Heller signed a check for $40,000 to help provide area families with a chance to celebrate future birthdays with their own families. The defending High-A Central League baseball champions made their second sizable donation in as many months to help fund initiatives benefiting the health of area children. Friday, the River Bandits made a $40,000 challenge grant benefiting Genesis Philanthropy and the Genesis Family Connects program. Family Connects provides newborns with a well-baby physical examination and helps new mothers adapt to their new role by identifying needs and referring support services."

-Quad-City Times, January 21, 2022

"Monday River Bandits owners Dave Heller and Roby Smith unveiled a challenge grant at an afternoon news conference, announcing the High-A Central League champions will match all donations made to support any of three programs up to $50,000. The challenge program provides free flu vaccinations to public, private and parochial elementary school children throughout the region. The River Bandits challenge will also match gifts to Camp Genesis, which offers a traditional camp experience for young people who are dealing with cancer in their families, and to the Genesis NICU, assisting with the cost of equipment and technological needs."

-Quad-City Times, October 18, 2021

"The Quad Cities River Bandits have a long history of going to bat for the children’s health initiatives provided by Genesis Health Systems. Monday, the River Bandits challenged others in the Quad-Cities community to support the Genesis Foundation’s Flu-Free QC program as well as Camp Genesis and the Genesis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

River Bandits owners Dave Heller and Roby Smith unveiled a challenge grant at an afternoon news conference, announcing the High-A Central League champions will match all donations made to support any of the three programs through Dec. 17 up to $50,000."

-Quad-City Times, October 18, 2021

"The Quad Cities River Bandits have offered a unique incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at their clinic on Saturday, July 17 - a Ferris wheel ride. Anyone who rolls up their sleeve for a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has the option for a free ride up on the wheel."

-WQAD-TV, July 16, 2021

"[Clinton Lumberkings' general manager Ted] Tornow credited Quad Cities River Bandits owner Dave Heller with assisting in helping pull the [college] scholarship together and connecting it with the Eastern Iowa Community College’s Clinton campus. 'Through the Bandits Scholars program the River Bandits run, Dave was instrumental in helping us do a good thing to honor a very deserving individual,’ Tornow said."

-Quad-City Times, August 20, 2020

"Children entering fourth through ninth grades whose families are affected by cancer have a chance to attend Camp Camp Shalom (near Maquoketa) for free in part because of donations like the $50,000 the Quad Cities River Bandits presented to the Genesis Foundation on Friday....The team also supports the Flu-Free Quad-Cities program, which provides free flu shots for over 10,000 school children annually, the Genesis neo-natal intensive care unit and the Family Connects program, which sends nurses to the homes of newborns in the region."

- Quad-City Times, January 31, 2020

"For many right now, getting the flu shot is at the top of their to-do list and for hundreds of kids across the Quad Cities, it’s a quick break from the classroom. Now that the colder temperatures have set it, Genesis is back at it with their Flu-Free Quad Cities vaccination program.... The program relies solely on the individuals who donate, organizations, grants, and businesses who donate. The goal this year is to vaccinate 10,000 kids, and with the support of the Quad Cities River Bandits, they are close to hitting their goal."

- KWQC-TV, October 14, 2019

"Following this year’s flooding, the team partnered with Genesis Health System to raise $101,000 for flood relief. The River Bandits also donated $80,000 for college scholarships and $50,000 so local children could get free flu shots."

- NPR Quad Cities, September 5, 2019

"The Quad Cities River Bandits remained committed to its community in 2019, and that work did not go unnoticed. For the third time in five years, Ballpark Digest has presented its Best Charity Work/Commitment to Charity Award to the River Bandits organization, an honor no other franchise has won more than once."

-Quad-City Times, September 5, 2019

"Genesis Health System and the Quad-Cities River Bandits celebrated Quad-Citians helping their neighbors, announcing a $100,000 donation to assist in local flood relief efforts. Following historic flooding on the Mississippi River earlier this year, Genesis and the Midwest League baseball club partnered on a project to benefit Quad-City organizations with an objective of helping local home and business owners recover."

-Quad-City Times, August 7, 2019

"For the Quad Cities River Bandits, the scoreboard isn’t the only place where the team is making a statement this season. The Midwest League club also is making a fashion statement, helping raise funds for Quad-City area organizations with the variety of uniforms it wears.

So far this month, the Bandits have worn patriotic jerseys on July 4 to benefit the Scott County Family Y, wizards and warlocks jerseys on July 6 to support the National Wild Turkey Federation, tropical-themed jerseys on Wednesday as part of a partnership with the Quad-City Parrot Head Club and, tonight, the team will wear green-wave jerseys on Mental Health Awareness Night to support the Vera French Foundation."  

-Rock Island Dispatch-Argus, July 17, 2019

"Heller sees his investment in minor league baseball — and his signature family-oriented improvements and additions to his ballparks, including amusement rides and on-field promotions — as a kind of civic duty."

-The Boston Globe, July 9, 2019  

"The Quad-Cities River Bandits baseball team is partnering with the Genesis Foundation to help Quad-Cities flood relief efforts throughout a seven-game homestand. The team will collect donations at each home game during the upcoming week, money that will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Genesis Foundation."

-Quad-City Times, May 23, 2019  

"With a set of fresh-painted baselines leading to home plate, Quad-Cities River Bandits groundskeeper Andrew Marking put the finishing touches on a refurbished youth baseball diamond Monday. Marking joined members of the River Bandits’ staff and volunteers from TBK Bank in completing work on a new Scott County Babe Ruth League field that is the start of an initiative to renovate youth baseball and softball fields in the Quad-Cities region."

- Quad-City Times, April 14, 2019

"As part of a youth field rejuvenation project, Quad Cities River Bandits vice president of sales Shawn Brown, left, and general manager Jacqueline Holm dig up crab grass in the infield at the Northwest Park Babe Ruth diamond in Davenport on Tuesday."

-Rock Island Dispatch-Argus, April 10, 2019

Volunteers Cleaning Baseball Field

"To show support for Transportation Security Administration officers facing their first payday without a check due to the government shutdown, the Quad Cities River Bandits bought the federal employees a meal on Friday.

The 54 TSA officers at the Quad-City International Airport would typically receive their paychecks on Monday, said Jeffrey Hardacre, Assistant Federal Security Director for Downstate Illinois. But due to the three-week partial government shutdown, the employees have been told to continue working without pay."

"River Bandits Owner Dave Heller said bringing his staff together to purchase food and grill burgers and hot dogs on Friday was one way to show support. "They're working so hard without pay to keep us safe and help us enjoy our freedom. And we just want to say 'thank you,'" Heller said. "We appreciate their hard work. They're caught in the middle of a terrible thing right now with the shutdown. And without taking political sides, we just want to let them know we appreciate what they're doing."

-Quad-City Times, January 12, 2019  

"The River Bandits organization has donated more dollars to charity than any other Class A club in minor-league baseball in each of the past two years and has ranked in the top five among all 120 full-season teams in charitable giving....

The Quad-Cities club topped $600,000 in charitable donations in both 2017 and 2018, building on and adding to programs that Heller believes are at the core of what his organization is all about."

-Quad-City Times, January 11, 2019

"River Bandits owner Dave Heller presented a $100,000 check to Genesis Health System President and CEO Doug Cropper on Friday at the Genesis Birth Center, continuing the Midwest League baseball team’s support of youth and family health initiatives that has provided $350,000 in donations [to Genesis] over the past five years."

-Quad-City Times, January 11, 2019

"The Quad Cities River Bandits announced the three scholarship winners for the Bandit Scholars program during Saturday’s game at Modern Woodmen Park.... The one-of-a-kind Bandit Scholars program is the single largest college scholarship program in all of Minor League Baseball, encompassing more than 200 teams. The program was founded by Heller in 2009."

-Rock Island Dispatch-Argus, June 25, 2018

"Every day is armed forces day for the River Bandits."

-Quad-City Times, June 20, 2018

"The Bandits as a franchise deserve a fair share of praise. It's a major donor to area charities and not-for-profits. It annually funds numerous college scholarships. And the charity is made possible only by the team's success."

-Quad-City Times, April 7, 2018

"The River Bandits' ongoing charitable efforts contributed more than $600,000 to Quad-City area organizations in 2017 and were recognized by Ballpark Digest as the 'best charitable works' in Minor League Baseball."

-Quad-City Times, February 22, 2018

"Since the Ferris wheel opened, the River Bandits have donated $250,000 following the past four seasons to the Genesis Foundation. Heller said the program will continue into the 2018 season and beyond."

-Rock Island Dispatch-Argus, January 24, 2018

"Heller presented the largest check a Midwest League club has ever given to a charitable cause on Wednesday, a $100,000 donation to the Genesis Health Services Foundation to help fund several health initiatives for children in the Quad-City area. The gift benefits the Flu-Free Quad-Cities program, Camp Genesis for youths in families dealing with cancer, the Genesis Family Connects program and Genesis neonatal intensive care services."

-Quad-City Times, January 24, 2018

"Quad-Cities River Bandits owners Dave Heller and Roby Smith joined Black Hawk College president Bettie Truitt in announcing Tuesday the addition of Black Hawk to a program which already funds annual scholarships for students attending Augustana, St. Ambrose and the Eastern Iowa Community College campuses."

-Quad-City Times, November 29, 2017

"The Bandit Scholars Program was originally established in 2009. Prior to the addition of Black Hawk College, the program awarded scholarships to students from three colleges in the Quad Cities. Starting in 2018, Black Hawk College will become the fourth college to be added to that mix. As part of this arrangement, a Black Hawk College student will be awarded a scholarship to cover one year of tuition and receive an internship with the River Bandits."

-Ballpark Digest, November 29, 2017

"It is rare for Ballpark Digest to present a national award twice in three years to the same minor-league baseball franchise. In this case, the publisher of the industry’s leading website views the way the Quad Cities River Bandits organization connects with the community through its charitable programs as a rarity. 'This club is unique in both the size of their charity programs and what they deliver,' Kevin Reichard said Wednesday after presenting River Bandits owners Dave Heller and Roby Smith with two national awards. 'The River Bandits are giving their charities what they need most — cash — and they are doing so in a sustainable fashion. That’s very commendable, and it separates them from their peers.'"

-Rock Island Dispatch-Argus, October 25, 2017

"Proceeds from the new Genesis Kidz Koaster and a portion of every ticket sold for the Ferris wheel at Modern Woodmen Park have raised $100,000 in 2017 for the Genesis Foundation, helping fund Flu-Free Quad-Cities, neo-natal care and Camp Genesis programs. All proceeds from rides on the double-decker carousel and other nearby attractions opened this year raised $53,000 that ... will be donated to programs serving needy youths in the Quad-Cities."

-The Quad-City Times, October 24, 2017

"In 2017, the Quad Cities River Bandits charitable contributions reached a franchise record of nearly $600,000. Between their scholarship program, believed to be the largest in the minor leagues, valued at nearly $80,000 annually, a $100,000 donation to Genesis Health Systems, and more than $400,000 in cash and merchandise donations to various organizations and causes throughout the Quad Cities, the River Bandits set records in giving this season. In addition to financial donations, the Bandits staff also donated over 1,250 hours of their time in volunteer work."

-Ballpark Digest, October 24, 2017

"Whether it’s hurricane relief, supporting charities in the Quad Cities community or awarding college scholarships to Quad Cities students, the River Bandits are every bit the champions as their parent club. For their continued excellence for community work, the River Bandits are Ballpark Digest’s choice for Best Charity Program in 2017. This is the second time the team has captured the award, as it previously claimed the prize in 2015."

-Ballpark Digest, October 24, 2017

"Heller has poured substantial cash into charity and college scholarships."

-Quad-City Times, October 1, 2017

"Much like the desire of the Flu-Free Quad-Cities program it helps support, cutting a $50,000 check to support the Genesis Foundation has become an annual ritual for Quad-Cities River Bandits owner Dave Heller. For the third straight year, the River Bandits presented the Genesis Foundation with a check to benefit the Genesis Flu-Free Quad-Cities program, the Genesis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Camp Genesis program which assists the families of cancer patients. The donation includes a contribution from the River Bandits as well as a portion of the proceeds from every ticket sold throughout the year to amusement rides at Modern Woodmen Park."

-Quad-City Times, December 9, 2016

"The giant-sized checks Quad-Cities River Bandits owner Dave Heller handed out Sunday represent the size of the contributions made in athletics, the classroom and community by recipients of this year’s Bandit scholarships. Carly Donahue of Pleasant Valley, Ryan Lorber of Davenport Central and Dylan Sortillo of Bettendorf were each presented with one-year full-tuition scholarships and will receive an internship in 2017 with the Midwest League team as winners of this year’s awards."

-Quad-City Times, June 19, 2016

"With proceeds benefiting area charities, the River Bandits have contributed tens of thousands of dollars annually to projects such as Flu-Free Quad-Cities which funds flu shots for area youths. The club's Bandit Scholars program has also provided multiple one-year full-tuition scholarships and provided internship opportunities for nearly a decade."

-Quad-City Times, August 30, 2017

"Making a difference in the community is a goal for many professional baseball teams. Very few have attained the success displayed by the owners of the Quad Cities River Bandits in giving back to the community... and the River Bandits put that into practice every day of the year."

-Ballpark Digest, November 11, 2015

"The River Bandits donate almost $80,000 a year to colleges and universities in our area, including Augustana College, St. Ambrose University, and Eastern Iowa Community Colleges."

-Rock Island Dispatch-Argus, June 29, 2017

"Thumbs up to Quad-Cities River Bandits for promoting higher education. Bandits ownership this week handed out a pair of one-year full-rides to Augustana College and St. Ambrose University. A deal with Eastern Iowa Community College will add a third student to the annual award moving forward."

-Quad-City Times, July 1, 2017

Quad Cities

Our team members stress to students the importance of reading, and urge that they continue reading each day throughout the summer. We reinforce that message by providing each of the nearly two thousand students with a book of their own to keep and read.

Our Bandit Scholars Program ensures each student’s full year of tuition will be covered at no expense to them or their families – a combined value of more than $85,000 annually for the four scholarships. The scholarship awards also include a summer internship for each recipient with the River Bandits following the academic year.

In addition, the team made a cash donation of $50,000 to Genesis Health System Foundation to help fund their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the only such unit in the entire Quad Cities area, as well as fund free flu shots for children throughout the Quad Cities region. In fact, the Bandits have committed to donating $250,000 in cash over five years to the Genesis Foundation.

Home Run for Life
The River Bandits and Genesis Health System jointly recognize a Quad Cities resident with a “Home Run for Life”; each celebration features an individual who has overcome serious health obstacles.
2016 Rascal Valentines Delivery
In February, Rascal can be spotted throughout the Quad Cities paw-delivering treats to some special Valentines at schools and local businesses.

The team also hosted and supported numerous charitable events and organizations throughout its home community.  In 2016 alone, the Bandits made more than 700 donations to hundreds of different organizations totaling over $320,000, and maintained a strong commitment to charitable giving, amounting to more than $1.5 million over the last seven seasons.

No wonder Ballpark Digest in 2015 gave the River Bandits its Community Service award for the best charitable programs in all of Minor League Baseball.


In Wilmington, the Blue Rocks have been equally involved in the community. Indeed, the team has won the Carolina League's prestigious Matt Minker Community Service Award an unprecedented FIVE times in a row -- in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, each year that Main Street has owned the club!

One of the most important community programs for the Blue Rocks is the team's relationship with the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.Players made frequent visits throughout the season and, in so doing, built genuine and long-lasting relationships with many children suffering from very unfortunate illnesses.

One cannot even begin to measure the impact of the smiles that the players generated when they took the time to visit these patients in the hospital. What we did not expect was that often those kids would get better -- or at least well enough to visit the ballpark -- and, in so doing, completely inspire and invigorate the players by their presence and their smiles. Players volunteered for these appearances, not out of obligation, but because of the difference they made in a child's life.

Children's Hospital
Blue Rocks players volunteer for appearances at numerous area hospitals, including the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, not out of obligation, but because of the difference they make in a young person's life.
School Visit
Blue Rocks players, staff and our popular Mascot Bluewinkle make one of numerous school visits throughout the state of Delaware.

In 2016, the Blue Rocks also raised more than $33,000 for Habitat for Humanity; partnered with HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Middletown, DE, to help patients recovering from near-fatal accidents reacclimate themselves to society; and held multiple two-day urban community camps to educate inner-city youngsters in the game of baseball and encourage exercise.  We had tremendous success with these camps and accomplished our goals in reaching kids, especially those who might not ever have the opportunity to play on a professional baseball field.


The Billings Mustangs have been deeply involved in youth and community programs since the club’s inaugural season way back in 1948. Our youth-oriented programs and activities, such as the Mustangs “Going to Bat for Literacy” reading program and baseball clinics, are specifically designed for getting children involved with baseball and the Mustangs. The team also supports community events and organizations throughout the Yellowstone Valley with cash and in-kind donations.

Over the past two years, the Mustangs Care program has donated more than $50,000 to area groups and organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Yellowstone County, American Heart Association, Special Olympics of Montana, Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Cancer Society and many others.

Our “Going to Bat for Literacy” campaign was started in 2011 and is a collaborative effort between the Mustangs and the United Way of Yellowstone County. Each spring, just before schools are dismissed for summer, the Mustangs staff, our mascot Homer, and volunteers from the United Way visit grades 1-3 in elementary schools throughout Billings and Laurel.

Elementary School Visits
The team's mascot, Homer, visits one of the nine Title One elementary schools in Yellowstone County and is always warmly received by the kids.
Signing Autographs
Player (and mascot) autographs are a fan-favorite in Billings.

Our team members stress to students the importance of reading, and urge that they continue reading each day throughout the summer. We reinforce that message by providing each of the nearly two thousand students with a book of their own to keep and read.

Another part of the “Going to Bat for Literacy” program is the Mustangs' involvement with the Billings Public Library and the Reading Rocks summer program. Each season the Mustangs contribute 500 tickets to the summer reading program at the Library for use as incentive and rewards for participants who meet their respective reading goals. Mustangs players visit both the Library and the Reading Rocks locations on several occasions during the course of the season to read with children, many of whom participate in both programs.

Billings Mustangs
Quad Cities River Bandits
Wilmington Blue Rocks