‘Dam Breakers’: Whitecaps’ new name for 1 game to promote river restoration

West Michigan Whitecaps

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The West Michigan Whitecaps are partnering with non-profit organization Grand Rapids Whitewater to raise awareness about the restoration of the Grand River. 

The non-profit organization has worked for more than a decade to make progress on programs that will restore the river. 

“Project started out with a heavy focus on recreation but we know there’s so many more benefits than just recreation,” said Matt Champman, the project manager for Grand Rapids Whitewater. “We’re working on trying to improve on ecology and environment.”

The team is supporting the cause by changing its look and name for its game on August 21 to the Grand Rapids Dam Breakers. 

“We want to see that project keep going, just the rest of the community, just like Grand Rapids Whitewater does,” says Steve VanWagoner, the director of marketing and media relations for the Whitecaps. “We joined together to form the Dam Breakers. Sales of our merchandise, a portion of proceeds will go toward helping that 501C keep going and help that project come to life.”

The team unveiled the new name and look during the third inning of tonight’s contest against Fort Wayne. The new logo depicts a sturgeon holding a baseball bat.

After the announcement Dam Breakers merchandise was unveiled at the team’s shop. Robert Wynstanley was one of the first fans to get his hands on the new gear.

Wynstanley approved of the new look and said it brought back special memories of his grandfather, who recently passed away. 

“The fishing ladder was one of the places we had to go after he passed,” Wynstanley said. “It meant a lot to us. This in a way, weirdly, represents that for me.”

While the team will only sport the Dam Breakers jerseys this season on August 21, the new look and the message behind it will be displayed at LMCU Ballpark leading up to the game. 

“Using our microphone that we have through our social media, website, ballpark that’s full of thousands of people over next 30 games,” said VanWagoner. 

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