Jeff Urlaub

Mat-Su Miners assistant coach Jeff Urlaub holds one of the commemorative Miners jerseys that are part of an auction to benefit the Alaska military.

PALMER — An idea tossed around during a national baseball convention has now become a popular fundraiser for the Alaska military.

The Mat-Su Miners teamed with New Balance and Northern Industrial Training and are auctioning commemorative Mat-Su Miners jerseys with a military theme. All proceeds will benefit the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Fisher House and the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska.

“New Balance approached us,” Miners community relations and marketing director Denise Christopher said. “They wanted to give back to the military. This is their chance to give back.”

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Christopher said the fundraiser gave New Balance the chance to support the Alaska military specifically. It also gave the Miners and NIT the chance to continue to support the Alaska military as well, Christopher said. The Miners have strong ties with JBER, and host a military appreciation day at the park annually. NIT is the military appreciation day sponsor.

In addition to their white and dark jerseys, the Miners have had a third military themed camouflage jersey for the last several years. Christopher said the camo jerseys are often favorites among the players.

The jerseys for the fundraiser were designed specially. New Balance donated 30 of the jerseys and 10 more were purchased. Each jersey is autographed by the Mat-Su Miners.

NIT has been hosting the jersey auction at each Mat-Su home game. The Miners are hosting a doubleheader against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots Sunday afternoon, and cap the home slate Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Chugiak. Christopher said once the idea was first presented, the first call was made to NIT. Christopher said everyone at NIT was immediately on board with the idea.

As of the start of Mat-Su’s game against the Pilots Friday, there were about two-dozen jerseys available to bid on. Those interested can either bid during the games at Hermon Brothers Field, or contact NIT at 357-6400. Information about the auction is also available on NIT’s Facebook page.

Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at sports@frontiersman.com.

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