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For every Padre fan cheering at opening day, there’s a Madre cheering louder.
The non-profit group San Diego Madres will be tailgating before the opener Thursday, perhaps enjoying a beer or a hot dog from the Petco parking lot before one of their favorite days of the year.
But don’t take their relaxed demeanor for idleness. The group has been around for nearly 40 years, supporting youth baseball, raising money for their communities, and volunteering at Petco Park events.
Each year, the Madres raise between $25,000 to $60,000 to support youth baseball and softball leagues in their communities, said Summer Serrano, president of the San Diego Madres.
“We’re a group of men and women who just love baseball,” said the Del Cerro resident. “It’s only natural for us to support the kids. Maybe they’ll grow up and play on the Padres.”
Serrano, 43, was eight days old when the Padres played their first game. A second-generation Madre herself, she grew up to play on softball leagues sponsored by the Madres.
“That’s why I joined,” she said.
She and the rest of the Madres aren’t expecting a World Series season. She loves the team, but she’s realistic, she jokes. Winning is just a perk for the Madres.
“We’re definitely the fans who see them through thick and thin,” Serrano said. “We go to away games, minor league games up in Lake Elsinore, everything. And we’re all good friends too.”
For their 40th anniversary year, Serrano and her fellow Madres hope to increase their 250-member team at events and fundraisers this year. The group has seen membership rise to over 500 – usually depending on how well the Padres do.
Membership is $20, and the group holds luncheons once a month during baseball season. For more information, check out their website.