DEAEF Partnership with Townhall II in Ohio is a Home Run

As former professional softball player, Tammy Hunter, MAPC, knows the value of setting and achieving goals. As a licensed therapist and CEO of Townhall II, an addiction and mental health agency in Portage County, Ohio, she knows that being active in a sport can be a catalyst for mental and physical health.

Upon reading data showing that Portage County’s overdose numbers had increased from the previous year, Tammy took to the Internet to search for possible answers to help young people steer clear of drugs and add positive influences into their lives. In her search, she discovered the DEAEF website. She was excited to uncover the vast array of programs, including baseball coaching, that are offered to school-aged students. Tammy reached out the DEAEF, and the partnership was created quickly due to a variety of synchronicities. The result was a new free after-school baseball program for students at The Mandel School in Beachwood, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland.

Sports gives kids an amazing opportunity to learn leadership skills. It gives kids the opportunity to get off their screens, to move, have fun, and talk to each other. We have so much fun, and all the kids are ballers!”

Tammy Hunter, Townhall II CEO
Students at The Mandel School Student and coach working on baseball skills. Students and coach working on baseball skills.

At The Mandel School, ten students meet after school once a week to practice with baseball coaches including Tammy and others. Students not only learn baseball, they also receive the equipment they need to play, including baseball gloves, bats, hats, baseballs, t-shirts, and bags, which they get to keep after the program has concluded. At the end of the 3-month program, students will go through a series of skills assessments to see how far they’ve grown as players.

Rick Zeitlin, DEAEF Regional Manager, points out that baseball skills are only one positive aspect of this program saying, “When you see the students’ confidence grow, it’s really exciting because that spills into other aspect of their lives.”

This partnership, which was born out of Tammy’s concern and hope and the DEAEF’s afterschool programming framework, is a true home run. The DEAEF looks forward to continuing and possibly expanding this program in Kent.

by Meredith Liepelt

Updated Apr 22, 2023