The New York-Penn League and its members clubs teamed up during the recent playoffs to raise a total of $24,144 dollars for the Lucas Holko Fund. Each club took collections at their respective stadiums during all post-season games.
Participating clubs during the 2009 Playoffs included the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Indians), Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets), Lowell Spinners (Red Sox), and Staten Island Yankees (Yankees). The Staten Island Yankees defeated the Mahoning Valley Scrappers two games to one to win the 2009 New York-Penn League Championship.
The check was presented to the family on behalf of the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, which was created in 2003. The Foundation's mission is to provide focus and support for the collective charitable and community efforts of the League and its clubs. Its motto is 'The Power of Baseball, the Power of Giving'.
After getting hit in the head with a foul ball at a Mahoning Valley Scrappers game on September 2nd and sustaining a serious head injury, Lucas Holko spent nearly a month at the Akron Children's Hospital.
After then being moved to a Cleveland rehabilitation center, Lucas was recently sent to a family home where he continues his recovery. The family had set up the Lucas Holko Fund to help with expenses associated with the accident and his recovery.
At the Scrappers home playoff games, assistance was received from a number of area firefighters including Greene Township who collected money through a 'Boot Drive'.
The local Sam's Club held a charity cookout on Labor Day which raised more than $2,300 dollars towards the fund and members of the Niles Key Club sold candy bars raising an additional $1,900 dollars.
Collections were also taken during the home playoff games in Brooklyn, Lowell, and Staten Island while the Jamestown Jammers (Marlins) made a team contribution as well. Staten Island alone raised more than $6,300 dollars while the Brooklyn Cyclones donated team player fines to the fund which totaled $1,700 dollars.
"It has been unbelievable to see so many people come together in support of Lucas and his family," stated Scrappers General Manager, Dave Smith.
"Seeing the support from complete strangers in surrounding markets is truly heartwarming and shows the strength and compassion of the New York-Penn League and its fans. There are too many people to thank for their kindness."
The previous story was excerpted from a press release by The Lowell Spinners of the NY-Penn League. Todd Civin is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report , Sports, Then and Now , and Seamheads .
He is also a supporter of, A Glove of Their Own , the award-winning children’s story that teaches paying it forward through baseball. The Joe Niekro Foundation is the most recent non-profit organization to join the A Glove of Their Own team and will earn $3.00 dollars from each sale of the book purchased using the donor code JNF636 Joe Niekro Foundation .