MISSOULA - Success for the upcoming Missoula Paddleheads baseball season begins with finding a safe and secure place to live for the summer.
We all know finding an affordable rental is challenging which is why the "Adopt a Paddlehead" program is looking for 10 more local families to open their homes to a player and cultivate lifelong friendships along the way.
“It's like a whole new family for us. They become a vital sense of security and just helps us get acclimated to the environment,” noted pitcher Matt Mogollon who’s back for his second season with the Paddleheads.
As team members from around the country get ready to move to Missoula this summer, they are hoping to connect with families who want to put them up.
“We have got seven returning host families that have hosted for the past several years so that says that they enjoy it. They have a connection with their players,” explained Adopt a Paddlehead coordinator Donna Kulaski.
“We have returning players that immediately asked to stay with their host families from last year again, so I think that speaks for itself what that means to the players.”
Susan Davis and her husband – who own the Paddleheads -- recently bought the old Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority that will help fill in the housing gaps for some players and staff. That was good timing.
“Because short-term housing is both expensive and it's not readily available and so we anticipated that was going to happen and just when the time was right, this house really came up for sale,” Davis told MTN News.
A total of 15 families have signed up so far, but they need 10 more. Host families get season tickets and other perks -- but for many, it becomes more than that.
"You establish a bond with them, and they really become your new family and you have the whole season to communicate with them and enjoy the area with them whether you go on hikes or them taking you fishing. It's just really a great experience and adds to the experience of us playing baseball which we love to do. - Paddleheads pitcher Matt Mogollan
“Players are really fulfilling their passion and here are individuals who are chasing their dreams and it’s difficult to find someplace to live on a short-term basis,” Davis said. “So, for us, we think that housing is critical. We don’t think it’s an option not to do it. We want people to be able to chase their dreams and I think this is part of how you make it possible.
Team president Matt Ellis is excited about these partnerships and the return of this championship team in Missoula.
“It’s obvious to us the community is excited to come together as a community for Paddleheads baseball,” Ellis observed. “And it’s our job to deliver a first-class product which I know our entertainment staff is going to do and make it a place that everyone wants to go for the summer.
Additional information about the Missoula Paddleheads can be found at https://gopaddleheads.com/landing/index