Nov. 9 2011 09:39 AM

Brothers organize baseball-themed event to raise money for Vermont farmers

Going to Bat for Vermont farmersThe August 28, 2011, tropical storm devastated New England, especially Vermont. Homes, farmland, and lives were changed forever. Farmer, Sam Lincoln, with the help of his brother, Buster Olney, are raising money to benefit affected Vermont farmers. Buster is an ESPN baseball analyst. His connections with major league baseball and the media have secured over 140 auction items that will be sold this weekend, November 12. (Online bidding open now)

As a huge baseball fan myself, I was excited to see what was being offered. Autographed baseballs, bats, jerseys from Cy Young winners, MVPs, and Hall of Famers. The support of donated items reaches beyond the Northeast. San Francisco's Brian Wilson tossed in a autographed ball, Albert Pujols of the World Series Champion Cardinals sent an autographed bat, and CC Sabathia added a jersey.

If collecting sports "items" is not your cup of milk, then check these items. Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps' Golf Outing, World Series tickets, or a private suite for a game at Dodger stadium?

What value can you place on one-hour with Cy Young winner Curt Schilling? Does your child (or maybe you) want to learn from one of the mound-masters?

Hockey jersey, skiis from Olympic Gold Medalists and a NASCAR experience are part of the nonbaseball sports items.

I am highlighting my favorites, but there are plenty more to select, depending on your hobbies and interests. An autographed Toby Keith guitar and backstage passes might be a great holiday gift for your favorite county music fan! The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit party (for two) is also an option!

We applaud the efforts of these two Vermont farm boys in organizing an event to benefit some of their own. And, thanks to the generous individuals who donated items to the auction. Visit to see the complete list of items and to place your bid!

In addition to the online auction, a special gathering will be held on Saturday at Vermont Technical College. All proceeds raised through Going to Bat for Vermont Farmers will be distributed by the Vermont Community Foundation's Farm Disaster Relief Fund, which was established in partnership with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture and grants aid to farmers in need. It provides direct grants to farmers to make repairs and acquire feed for livestock.

The Saturday evening gathering includes Former Boston Red Sox general manager (and new head of Cubs baseball operations) Theo Epstein, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, and Pirates general manager Neal Huntington. They will be joined by event coordinator and farm boy, Buster Olney. Ticket are required for round table discussion on Major League Baseball by these three GMs. Tickets to the V.I.P cocktail hour and the round table will be limited, but premier and general admission tickets ($20) are also available. All money will be donated to Vermont farmers through the Vermont Community Foundation.

The Yankees and the Red Sox's working together – leave it up to farmers to accomplish the near impossible!