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RHIT baseball team helps at Rescue Center

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

CENTER POINT -- Twenty-six members of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology baseball team donated their efforts on a chilly December Saturday morning to help the Exotic Feline Rescue Center (EFRC) continue progress with its facility.

The baseball squad spent this past Saturday building a new enclosure that will house several of the tigers that were recently rescued by the center, including a white tiger that was reportedly once owned by Mike Tyson.

The organization was founded in 1991 by Joe Taft, Center Point, with a mission of providing "permanent homes for exotic felines that have been abused, abandoned or for some reason, have nowhere to live out their lives, while educating the public about these beautiful cats."

It currently contains more than 220 large cats from nearly half the nation. More than 20,000 visitors pass through EFRC every year.

Four years ago, Rose-Hulman helped the center with work on its new food processing center to help the facility handle more than 3,000 pounds of meat per day. Three years ago, the baseball team constructed an enclosure with donations from the foundation of NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

Work was completed in the chilly temperatures, including construction of new fences and poles to help provide homes for the felines. In return for the efforts, the players experienced an up-close tour of the facilities, including viewing many of the exotic felines in their natural environment.

Players donating time included Hank Akard, Sam Beck, Andrew Benitez, Jordan Chipka, Derek Dauenbaugh, Chris Erickson, Kevin Farley, Ryan Fuller, Colton Gibson, Matt Green, Michael Kovacs, John Krasich, Andrew Markowitz, Brett McKinney, Billy Miller, Bobby Newman, Andrew Oakley, Nick Perry, Nick Pilipovich, Ethan Post, Nick Rumpke, Gannon Sadzeck, Jim Bob Schuler, Ryan Tooley, Matt Turk and Jamie Weinle.

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