Phillies Philanthropy Phun!
Until I worked for the Phillies I had absolutely no idea how much the players did for charity. I remember hearing that Jim Eisenreich and his wife had a foundation for children with Tourette Syndrome, and I knew that Lenny Dykstra helped coach a few high school baseball clinics, but beyond that I figured they just hung out in their big expensive houses and went on big, fancy vacations.
Truthfully, I know very few people who are as committed to charity work as the Phillies players and their wives are. Sure it helps to have money, but the players also donate a lot of their time, which can be an invaluable resource during the season.
A perfect example of their in-season generosity? A few weeks ago on a rare off day Jimmy Rollins and Jamie Moyer both hosted events to raise money for their favorite causes. The day started off with a bowling tournament Lucky Strike Lanes and ended at the Diamond Club in Citizens Bank Park for a dinner party with a seriously impressive wait staff. More importantly, the day gave some very deserving children the opportunity to live a better life.
Jimmy’s third annual BaseBOWL event raised money for the Arthritis Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvania and Camp JRA (Juveniles Reaching Achievement) which provides special care for children with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Attendees of the event included Chase Utley, Shane Victorino, Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, Adam Eaton, and some seriously excited fans! Some of our ballgirls attended, and they were nice enough to share some highlights with me!
According to rookie ballgirl Laura, “My favorite part was hosting a lane with all women bowlers and having them beat up on the Phillies players. It wasn’t even close! Way to go, ladies!”
For Irena, the real honor was getting to help a young fan. “My lane was reserved for Citizens Bank. I had a young girl in my lane named Renata. I was able to introduce her to Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick and she even got to hug Jimmy Rollins. She was so excited that she kept thanking me for helping her meet everyone. It was awesome!”
For Christy O, the event was a little more stressful. “Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick bowl really fast! It was kind of funny to watch them throw underhand…it was also a little scary because I thought that they were going to hurt their pitching arms!”
Gina loved seeing how excited some of the younger fans were. “There was a family I bowled with later on in the event, and they had three boys under age 10. When I asked them if they got any signatures or anything like that, the expressions on their faces were priceless. They were so proud to show me their autographed ‘BaseBOWL’ jerseys and baseballs that they got signed.”
Katie also enjoyed watching the kids. “My favorite moment of the JRoll bowling event was watching the kids at the event meet all the professional athletes that were there. All the players and celebrities were great with the kids. They gave out their autograph, took pictures and talked to them. It was really nice to see the celebrities paying so much attention to the kids. I also enjoyed watching Eric Bruntlett bowl because he was really good and fun to watch!”
For Lauren, the event was a wonderful opportunity to really brush up on her bowling skills! “The best part of the JRoll bowling event was interacting with the participants. The lane I was taking care of was a lot of fun, and very social. Eventually, it got to the point where the people in the lane just wanted to chat with each other instead of continuing to bowl, so I became the designated bowler for at least 4 people in the lane. Though my bowling skills (or lack thereof) did not help my lane win the tournament, my lane appreciated the help, and we definitely had a great time.”
Maybe Lauren can use her newfound bowling prowess to help out some of our players… apparently their bowling skills were a little rusty! They may have a future in the food-service industry, however. They showed off their wait-staff skills at Jamie Moyer’s Celebrity Waiters event to raise money for the Moyer Foundation and Camp Erin, which helps kids who have lost their parents or siblings grieve and move on with their lives.
Ballgirl Lindsay was there and she shared some highlights with us.
“It was great to see the players coming to the Moyer event on their day off, especially after having just attended JRoll’s event. It shows a lot about what our guys are made of when they aren’t playing ball. This was more than just a public appearance as they were required to wait tables. Not only did they mingle with the fans, sign autographs and pour wine, but it was not unusual to see them take a seat at the table and engage in conversation with the guests. One moment which was particularly heart-warming was when Adam Eaton donated $10,000 to Camp Erin. It was also pretty cool to see who else (in addition to current Phillies) was willing to donate their time to a good cause.”
It was a long day for the Phillies players, but I have no doubt that the children who will attend Camp JRA and Camp Erin will remember the heroics the players displayed today far longer than any heroics they display on the field.