Home Run Derby real winner: Team Rubicon

Jonathan Kaupanger
July 17, 2018 - 2:37 pm

Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper may have gotten the glory at this week's MLB Home Run Derby, but veteran-centric volunteer organization Team Rubicon was the big winner.  This year's sponsor, T-Mobile, donated over $1 million - that's $5k per home run - to Team Rubicon, the veteran-led disaster response organization.

This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has helped Team Rubicon (TR).  DJ Sprenger, Team Rubicon’s Sr. Associate, Public Affairs said the cell phone carrier donated $3.4 million for Hurricane Harvey relief in 2017.  “That money helped us deploy 1,760 volunteers and helped us do things like rescue 72 people with boats,” said Sprenger.  “Overall, the retail value of assistance provided after Hurricane Harvey was $6.72 million.”

The money raised this week allows TR to continue responding to disasters across the country.  So far this year, TR has responded to 49 disasters.  “These are the responses that you’re probably not seeing in the national headlines,” said Sprenger.  “But these people still need help.  They need help recovering; they need help getting back on their feet. ”

Help from Team Rubicon comes in four basic forms.  Core services include damage assessment.  For this, TR works with local state authorities and helps assess areas to figure out how many people and structures are impacted by a disaster. 

Next is what TR calls “Home Muck Outs,” and this comes in once flooding happens.  After your basement floods, you need to rip out carpet and dry wall before mold sets in.   TR sends out a team to do this for you.  “This saves homeowners time and money and allows them to get a contractor in there to start rebuilding much quicker,” said Sprenger.  These services are always free for homeowners.

Expedient home repairs, such as drywall, roof-tarping, and Wildfire and Flood Mitigation round out what Team Rubicon offers.  “Right now we’re in Colorado in the Forbes Park area,” said Sprenger.  The Forbes Park fire grew to over 2,000 acres and forced almost 400 people to be evacuated from their homes last month.  “We helped remove trees so emergency management services and local residents could get back into communities safely and not have to four-wheel to get home.  If we didn’t have money like this coming from sponsors like T-Mobile, being able to help in the time of need would not always be possible. ”

Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper won the derby in front of the home crowd with 45 homers.  This year there was a total of 221 home runs hit, which is the most in the history of the event.

About 70 percent of Team Rubicon’s volunteers are veterans.  Click here if you're interested to volunteer for Team Rubicon.

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