Legendary Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw told us “You gotta believe.” It’s always good advice, especially for people like Jimmy McKeon, a budding young athlete who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at five years old.
You may, like me, be surprised to learn that brain tumors have replaced leukemia as the No. 1 killer of people under 20 years old. Most of those die within 14 months of being diagnosed.
Many believe that awareness and increased funding for research into a cure for leukemia is a large part of the reason, and some of those people are now trying to build the same sort of awareness about brain tumors.
We in Delaware are in a unique position to help. Last year the Tug McGraw Foundation launched Hits for Tug’s Team with the varsity baseball teams of Salesianum and St. Mark’s schools to raise money for research.
Participants pledged to donate based on the number of hits each team had during its season. What the organizers learned is that most people generously wrote checks, no statistics necessary.
Sallies and St. Mark’s raised nearly $15,000 in the first season of Hits. This year 45 Delaware high schools have participated (Tug’s number, coincidentally, was 45), as well as the Delaware Baseball Coaches’ Association and the Piedmont Baseball League, which is sponsored in part by the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. Pledging is as easy as logging on at www. hitsfortugsteam.org.
You can also attend the Tug McGraw Foundation night with the Wilmington Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium on June 2, as well as the Blue-Gold All-Star Baseball Game at Frawley on June 8. Proceeds benefit Hits for Tug’s Team and Delaware Big Brothers Big Sisters. Proceeds go toward funding research into treatments and a cure for brain tumors.
One unique benefit of contributing to Hits: You not only help the program, but you also help the teams and organizations it has partnered with. That means some of the money you pledged to Hits gets returned to the high schools, the local leagues and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
The term “win-win” may be trite, but, in this case, it’s apt. Your support will help young people like Jimmy, now 10 and living strong. It will help many others, too.
Mark’s Day Book
Ever since he shook my hand during a class trip to Legislative Hall in first grade, I’ve been a bit star-struck by former Governor Russ Peterson. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing him a few times over the years, and I’ve come to admire his fierce integrity. So when we had the idea to write about our environmental watchdogs, Governor Peterson was the first person we thought of. To bump into him and his wife, June, while searching for DT in the Happy Harry’s was a real thrill.
Â Congratulations to our friend Priscilla Rakestraw for winning the Trailblazer Award from the Agenda for Delaware Women. Priscilla’s acceptance speech showed all the intelligence, humor and grace that one would expect from such an honoree. Well done.
Â Dinner with Ajit George and Sarah Brown at their home was a real treat. Eight couples, eight fantastic courses, eight excellent wines and a ton of great conversation made for one terrific evening. Many thanks to all.
Thanks as well to chef David Leo Banks of the Harry’s restaurants for serving oysters during the Taste of Delaware at Dover Sheraton. I have no idea what goes into the mignonette, but it is beyond delicious.