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SIOUX FALLS — The Sioux Falls Canaries will help raise awareness and resources for victims of domestic violence during their TikTok & Neon Night on Thursday, July 22.
A cell phone drive for The Compass Center will coincide with both a 7:05 p.m. baseball game against the Sioux City Explorers, which includes a fun promotion involving two of the hottest trends among teenagers and college students.
The Birds will have drop-off stations at the ticket windows and front gate for cell phones that will go directly to The Compass Center, a local organization that provides counseling, employment assistance, and resources — like phones, clothes, food, and transportation — to those suffering from sexual and physical abuse, mostly women and children.
Gates will open at 6 p.m., but the team will take donations in their office at “The Birdcage” — 1001 N. West Ave. — starting at 9 a.m. Both new and used cell phones will be accepted, as will Trac phones and prepaid phones. Any phone helps, because simple things are often major barriers to victims of physical and sexual abuse, according to Jason Lemke, The Compass Center’s Chief Development Officer.

“Many victims of violent relationships leave with little or no financial resources when they escape their abuser,” said Lemke. “They often have no job or even no credit history because the abuser has been controlling the finances for so long. This makes something as simple as obtaining a cell phone – a safe and secure way to contact their support network – an incredibly difficult task.

“At The Compass Center, we work to remove as many of these barriers as we can so the victim can focus on navigating their journey to healing and begin rebuilding their life. So, we are proud to partner with the Canaries to help people who badly need it.”

For the Birds, helping The Compass Center phone drive falls in line with the club’s commitment to being a stronger presence in the community. Earlier this year, the team held a food drive for Feeding South Dakota at a game, and new ownership group True North LLC has started the Canaries Community Fund, with its mission of helping fund programs that assist at-risk and underprivileged Sioux Falls youth through education and character building.

“We don’t want our interactions with people of Sioux Falls to stop at putting smiles on their faces with baseball and family-friendly entertainment at our games,” Canaries general manager Duell Higbe said.

“We want to let people know we care about making their lives better beyond the experience at the ballpark, especially those who are struggling and need a boost, and The Compass Center is a perfect fit for our first Tik Tok and Neon Night.”

The phone drive comes on a theme night targeted at fans of all ages, but especially teenagers and college-aged young adults, with an encouragement to wear neon and watch TikTok videos on The Birdcage’s new Daktronics video board. The team will wear special neon jerseys for the occasion.
Some of the TikTok videos shown will be ones produced by the Canaries, and some will be submitted by Canaries’ TikTok and social media followers. The makers of the most amusing fan videos — as determined by the Canaries’ staff – will receive four free tickets to the game and a Canaries adjustable cap. Deadline to enter is Wednesday at Noon. Video makers need to tag the Canaries in their TikTok, Facebook, or Twitter posts of the videos they are submitting.
Tickets to Thursday’s game, and every Thursday Canaries game, are just $5 for college students who present a valid I.D. at the ticket window. The Birds also have special “Thirsty Thursday” deals for those 21-and-over with a valid I.D. — Two 16 oz. domestic tallboy beers for $10, and two 16. oz  craft/import tallboy beers for $12.
“We’re trying to reach new fans that may have not been to a Canaries game and have never been interested or invested in baseball,” Higbe said.
“This includes younger fans. TikTok and Neon Night, along with our ramped-up themed entertainment for every game, is a good way to welcome younger fans. The opportunity for them to make a difference for people in need in Sioux Falls simply by donating a cell phone is another big way.”
The Canaries are also offering $8 tickets for all kids ages 12 and under on this night, and the Birdcage experience includes a new staff-supervised “Kids Zone” playground and bounce house, which provides kids a chance to play while their parents and guardians enjoy the game.
For tickets information, call the Canaries box office at (605) 336-6060 or by going to http://sfcanaries.com/.

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