Here is a link to the original story on the team's website.
Some baseball numbers are filled with meaning. For Red Sox fans, Number 8, Number 9, and Number 34 are like pictures–they’re worth a thousand words.
Other baseball numbers signify well-known stories, such as 714, 755, and 2131.
But the stories behind some numbers are not self-evident. They need to be told.
When the PawSox revealed at year-end that their foundation had crossed the $100,000 mark in commitments and contributions, some eyes may have been dazzled, yet some eyes may have glazed over.
Exactly what does such a number mean?
It means that the dreams of a bright, elegant, 13-year old girl at Pawtucket’s Slater Junior High School received a big boost. Charlisa Kollie aspires to be a pediatrician, and her academic aptitude and palpable compassion have her teachers believing in her.
And on November 4 of this past year, the daunting task of affording a college education became a tad easier–or $10,000 easier. Charlisa is one of two inaugural students in the PawSox Scholars program.
So is Ethan Hoke, a 14-year-old at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls. With an essay demonstrating an exceptional love of his town, he offered an array of specific, common-sense suggestions to improve the quality of life where he lives. With uncanny wisdom, he noted that the smallest improvements can inspire community momentum.
One good deed begets another.
Two children, two scholarships, two lives impacted. Yet like the ripples of a pond when a stone is tossed, the number of people touched can be much more.
That understanding was evident in the eyes of Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa, who saw in these two children one simple, powerful word: hope.
Rhode Island is blessed with philanthropies and philanthropists whose donations may have more zeroes, and we are all grateful. The PawSox Foundation may not yet be among the largest in the state, but we embrace our role in making relatively modest donations that help some families and inspire others.
When we made a Veterans Day donation to Operation Stand Down, I wished we had more to give than the $3,000 contribution. When I said as much to Governor Gina Raimondo, who was standing by my side, she turned to me with a serious look in her eye and asserted that every dollar helps.
The Governor is right.
The veterans were so grateful, as they were the night before, when we hosted a dinner for them in the PawSox Clubhouse. And as they were, when one by one, a veteran would take the field between innings, all summer long, to feel the emotional impact of a standing ovation of gratitude. Indeed, we are all “In Debt to a Vet.”
While the PawSox’ partners have made many of the charitable donations to fund our foundation, our corporate partners and our fans have done so as well–sometimes in a particularly fun way.
When moms and dads purchase soft baseballs that their children eagerly toss towards (and occasionally into) the sunroof of a Honda SUV as it circles the field between innings, their good deeds lead to more good deeds. Those dollars are part of $10,000 for the Tomorrow Fund at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
The brutal battle waged by courageous innocent children facing cancer is accompanied by additional trauma and turmoil for their families. Lives change with the diagnosis. In many cases, work stops. Cooking stops. Carpools stop. There is nothing a parent won’t do to save a child’s life–and therefore, everything else may be put on hold.
To the rescue: the Tomorrow Fund.
Perhaps those dollars are buying dinner. Perhaps they are paying rent. Perhaps they are saving more lives than we know.
Perhaps, as our 14-year-old sage, Ethan Hoke, suggested, those dollars are creating community momentum.
Perhaps they are providing hope.
As we build our foundation, and as our numbers grow, we hope to touch as many Rhode Island families as we can.
Maybe the zeroes in the numbers will dazzle. More importantly, maybe the dreams that are funded will make our towns and our state an even better place to live.
We look forward to enhancing our impact–and to performing even more good deeds–in 2017 and beyond, thanks to the beautiful power of baseball.
Happy New Year to you all.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.