Local company knocks it out of the park for UCS students
Posted on 09/13/2016
Check DonationUnited Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) players and the locally-based toggled have hit a home run when it comes to supporting Utica Community Schools students and their bright future.

For every home run hit in this year’s inaugural season, LED lighting company, toggled, has donated to the UCS Superintendent’s Scholarship Program.

Representatives of toggle’s Bright Lights Home Run Donation Program and the USPBL presented a $10,000 scholarship check to UCS Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns at the league’s championship game, held September 11.

“Our business community understands the importance of supporting our students and the district’s focus on a College Culture,” superintendent Dr. Johns said.  “Through this generous donation, two deserving UCS students will have a greater opportunity to pursue their college education.”

In its first year, USPBL players hit 120 home runs over the approximately three-month season at Jimmy John’s Field, which is located in downtown Utica.

UCS and toggled will honor the scholarship recipients during the opening game of the USPBL 2017 season and with other UCS Superintendent’s Scholarship recipients at a special district celebration in April.

toggled is providing a female and male UCS graduate with a $5,000 scholarship each to pursue post-secondary education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

toggled ( is a Michigan-based company and global manufacturer of commercial-grade LED lighting. Its parent company, Altair (, is focused on the development and application of simulation technology to synthesize and optimize designs, processes and decisions for improved business performance.

“Our business actively supports student interest and success in STEM and works closely with communities to build the talent of our industry’s future workforce,” said Mike Kidder, senior vice president of Corporate Marketing of Altair.

Andy Appleby, USPBL founder and president and chief executive officer of General Sports and Entertainment, said he was proud of the league’s role to foster relationships that benefit the community.

“These partnerships are creating new opportunities for the families who supported us all season,” Appleby said.

The scholarship donation is the latest of a series of partnerships between newly-formed professional baseball league and Utica Community Schools.

The league originally announced their three teams and mascots at a ceremony in November, 2015 at Eppler Junior High School. The league and district also partnered to sponsor a reading incentive program in March, and Henry Ford II students designed and built bat and helmet racks for the visitor and home dugouts.

In late August, players from each team helped upgrade the fields at Eppler Junior High School and the league and district teamed up for a sold-out Back to School celebration in late August.