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Home Run Challenge: Fundraising campaign knocks it out of the park

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The Home Run Challenge, a fundraising campaign for M.L. "Tigue" Moore Field at Russo Park, reached home plate two weeks early.

Dr. Bryan Maggard, Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns director of athletics, made the announcement Monday but reminded fans that the Home Run Challenge isn't over. Donations will be accepted until Aug. 15.

The campaign received support from 502 donors and achieved a total of $100,000 in challenge gifts, surpassing the goal organizers set when the fundraiser began in late March.

“We want to thank everyone who stepped up to the plate and gave to the Home Run Challenge," said head coach Tony Robichaux. “This is another example of why we have some of the best fans in college baseball. This is what excites us as a program, and we can't wait to get back out on the field at Russo Park.”

The initial goal was 500 donors of $100 or more by mid-August. The campaign received four challenge gifts from Martha and E. Gerald "T-Boy" Hebert and two anonymous donors, which helped drive the challenge passed its goal.

"We are grateful to our fans and the community members who chose to invest in the stadium. It is an asset to the region, as much as to the University," said Jim Harris, executive director of the Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation.

"We're accepting donations for a few more days. Supporters still have a chance to get their name on the inaugural plaque inside the stadium."

The plaque will recognize donors who contribute $100 or more. It will be installed before the 2018 season. In addition, individual and corporate matching gifts will be counted toward the RCAF Priority Points program.

Donors of $1,000 or more will receive a Russo Park commemorative baseball signed by Robichaux.

Donors who give $2,500 or more will be invited to a preseason dinner with Robichaux and Maggard.

For a donation of at least $5,000, donors will be invited to watch a game from the athletic director's suite during the 2018 season.

For information about the campaign or to donate, visit ragincajuns.com/homerun.