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Quad-City area animal shelters and animal rescue organizations will be spotlighted as part of a new We Care Wednesday promotion at Quad-Cities River Bandits home games this season.

The Midwest League team plans to honor and raise funds for one area shelter or rescue organization at each of the team’s nine Wednesday night home games in 2018, the start of a program River Bandits general manager Andrew Chesser sees expanding in the future.

"There are so many worthy organizations in the Quad-Cities and the area that do such great work, and this is a way for us to recognize them and help draw attention to what they do in the community," Chesser said.

This season, a portion of the proceeds from that night’s game as well as proceeds from a 50-50 raffle held during the game will be donated to the shelter or rescue organization that is being featured on that particular night.

The program will also provide the groups with an opportunity to bring animals up for adoption to Modern Woodmen Park and potentially find a home for some of them.

"There are a lot of cool things that we can do with this," Chesser said. "We have a lot of our regular weekly promotions from last year — the fireworks and giveaway nights, the beverage nights the family day on Sunday are returning — but Wednesday was a night we really haven’t had one constant theme and this changes that."

Chesser said the River Bandits chose to focus on animal-related groups this season, but in the future he could see the program expanding to focus on other charitable causes in the region.

He mentioned military and veterans groups, organizations that focus on youths or groups that assist the underprivileged as potential themes in future seasons.

"We’re excited about the possibilities of We Care Wednesday," Chesser said. "It’s something new and something we can do to raise awareness in a lot of different areas."

The new We Care Wednesday program is part of the River Bandits’ ongoing charitable efforts, which contributed more than $600,000 to Quad-City area organizations in 2017 and were recognized by Ballpark Digest as the "best charitable works" in Minor League Baseball.