The Lake Elsinore Storm Booster Club is still in need of local residents willing to open up their homes, free of charge, to a Storm player this season.
As of last week, the booster club, a nonprofit organization that helps to organize free housing for Storm players, was in need of around 14 rooms for players.
With less than a month to go before opening day on April 5, booster club coordinator Laura Eggering is hoping for some fast results.
A weakened economy and high unemployment rates in the county have resulted in families moving — families who used to repeatedly volunteer for the program, Eggering said.
“I lost a lot of families last year and more this year,” said Eggering, the club’s coordinator for the past six years. “This is the worst position I’ve been in.”
Besides free housing, the booster club helps to supply players with a little money for workout clothes and food to help them adjust to the state’s high cost of living.
Eggering looks for homes located within 15 miles of the stadium for the sake of the players — many of whom come with no vehicles for transportation.
It’s preferable if players can have access to their own bathroom in addition to a bedroom. And while homeowners don’t have to provide players with meals (though some do), she does ask that players be allowed to use the washer and dryer and store food in a designated area in the kitchen.
Eggering, who has hosted around 80 players herself over the years, said the program is beneficial not only for the players, but for the families who volunteer.
“These kids who are coming in really become a part of their family,” she said.
Eggering still gets calls on Mother’s Day from players, such as Arturo Lopez and Jose Lobaton.
“It is fun,” Eggering said.
Families who volunteer will get a membership card good for a 10 percent discount on all purchases in the Storm merchandise store.
“The Storm, as far as I know, is the only minor league team in the Cal League that provides this kind of housing situation for the players,” Eggering said.
Applications for housing will be accepted through March 19.
For more information about the booster club, visit stormboosterclub.org, or contact Eggering at 951-699-9505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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