Hadley’s Hope
 Seventh grader hosts charity Duel on the Diamond event.

For 13-year-old Hadley Gray, bringing attention to those in need drives her.

The founder of Hadley’s Hope, a soon to be nonprofit, the Paradise Honors Middle School student recently helped organize a charity baseball game that generated nearly $15,000 for an organization near and dear to her heart––Soldier’s Best Friend.

Soldier’s Best Friend provides military veterans living with combat-related injuries with service or therapeutic companion dogs that are typically rescued from local shelters. Hadley saw their colorful poster and was drawn to their mission of saving two lives at once. She soon got to work brainstorming fundraising ideas.

She settled on the idea of a charity baseball game and reached out to Peoria Diamond Club, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting community programs that educate and enrich children’s lives. Recognizing Hadley’s passion for the project, they helped her organize Duel on the Diamond, a charity double header.

Hadley sat in on meetings and gave her ideas. She also reached out to potential sponsors and people throughout the community to generate interest.

“The most challenging thing was trying to get everyone to be sponsors and finding the appropriate teams and having them agree to be part of this event,” says Hadley.

In addition to proceeds from tickets sales was a $1,000 check presented to Hadley by Peoria Councilmember Michael Finn. Sponsors of the event included Discount Tire, AZ on the Rocks, Arizona Cardinals, Chipotle, and others.

“I’m so grateful for everything we received,” says Hadley, who was recognized as Arizona State’s Middle Level winner for Prudential’s Spirit of Community award for her commitment helping the community for other fundraising endeavors in 2021. She was also Geneva Financial’s first ever Be a Good Human winner.

To learn more, visit Hadley’s Hope on Instagram.