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The 162 Home Run Challenge

At the beginning of the season New York Yankees' super fans Steve Melia and Marybeth Longona embarked on an epic journey—attending all 167 Yankees games, including the playoffs. But that's just where the story started. By partnering with Pledge It, the couple raised over $28,000, split amongst four non-profit organizations.

The New York Yankees' 162 Home Run Challenge

Say one thing about Steve Melia and Marybeth Longona; they like to dream big. Attending all 166 of the 2018 New York Yankees’ home and away games, including playoffs, would have been an impressive feat in and of itself. But they made it about so much more than that.

Melia and Longona partnered with Pledge Itand four different charities to raise money for each of the selected causes. The funds raised will go toward The National Fallen Firefighters, Fans for the Cure, The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Work, Play, Love, respectively.

It sure is a noble endeavor. But how did attending 167 baseball games help raise money for these various organizations? It’s a pretty simple system, actually. And it’s powered by virtually every baseball fan’s favorite play—the home run.

Those who pledged chose to give anywhere from $0.25 to $5 per home run. With the season over, the per-home run option has been shut down. But The 162 Home Run challenge can still earn more via one-time donations and the “Become a Fundraiser” options. And no, you don’t have to be a fan of the Yanks to give.

“We have purposely chosen three national and one international organization that will benefit millions of people,” the couple explained on its Pledge It page. “That includes non-baseball and non-Yankee fans. Even if you’re not a Yankee fan, you can feel good about supporting these great causes and these two crazy fans living out a dream. Either way, you win.”

Longona and Melia used a variety of methods to spread awareness about their cause. This includes updates to their website The 162 Podcast, and various social media efforts, including the #162HRChallenge hashtag.

It’s pretty clear that these two individuals fall into the category of “Yankees fanatics”—this will be Melia’s second journey attending all 162-plus games (and he wrote a book about the first trip). But fandom aside, they literally could not have chosen a better team to partner with for this mission.

In the 149-year history of Major League Baseball, the 267 regular-season home runs belted by the Yankees was the most ever. That’s a lot of dingers…

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… and a lot of money. As of this writing, the campaign earned nearly $30,000.

There’s a little something in it for pledgers as well. Anyone who makes a one-time contribution will be featured on the couple’s website, social media platforms, podcasts, and/or will receive a copy of Melia’s aforementioned book. Anyone who chose one of the incremental plans ($0.50/home run and up) were also recognized on the website, the podcast, and even had the chance to earn two Yankees’ tickets, amongst other perks.

Just for good measure, all donations are tax deductible; the partners included in the “162 HR Challenge” are nonprofit 501c3 organizations.

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Published on November 1, 2018

by Alexander Diegel

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