How often do you get the chance to see and possibly meet Cardinal players like Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, and David Freese for $10?! Throw in a wonderfully good cause, and there isn’t a better event in the St. Louis area!
Skip Schumaker’s good friend is struggling. His daughter has been diagnosed with a rare and terrible disease for which there is no cure. In fact, the family’s focus is simply in giving her the best life they can while she is with us. But that effort is expensive, and Schumaker and his friend need our help. That’s why Skip is holding a fundraiser for the family tomorrow night, Thursday the 19th from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at a church in O’Fallon, MO.
Basically, tons of autographed stuff will be available from athletes and celebrities (including Garth Brooks guitars!), and several Cardinals – including those mentioned above – are scheduled to attend. Admission is just $10 plus additional cost for any autographs.
For years, Schumaker has served as a rallying point for our beloved Cardinals teams. This time, he’s asking us to rally around him for the sake of his friend’s little girl. GO CARDINAL NATION!!!
Read the story below by Rob Rains for more, including the address of the church. OH! And the charity auction preview starts TONIGHT from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
More details also are available at www.babyreesa.com, including the address to send donations for people not able to attend Thursday night’s fundraiser.
Skip Schumaker’s loyalty to a friend prompts him to organize charity fundraiser
By Rob Rains (via STL SPORTS PAGE) CLICK HERE to view the story on it’s original site.
Skip Schumaker possesses many of the traits of an old-fashioned baseball player, which is one of the reasons he is so popular among Cardinals fans. He also has another quality, however, that transcends his chosen sport – loyalty to a friend.
When Schumaker moved from Los Angeles to Orange County when he was in the eighth grade, he met and quickly became friends with Sean Stutzman, who lived down the street. The two went to high school together and were teammates on the baseball team. Stutzman was the team’s catcher, and was the MVP of the league his senior season. He headed to Arizona State while Schumaker went on to UC-Santa Barbara.
The two remained close throughout their college years. When Schumaker got married, Stutzman was his best man. In 2008, when Stutzman got married, Schumaker returned the favor.
Schumaker, the father of a four-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl, was excited when he found out last summer that his best friend had become a father as well, to a baby girl named Reesa. Then, while Schumaker was at spring training this year in Florida, he received another much more somber phone call from his best friend.
Reesa had been diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder, Krabbe Leukodystrophy, which has no cure and is generally fatal in less than two years.
“That was a tough phone call, one I wish I could forget about but I won’t forget,” Schumaker said. “It’s going to be the most difficult two years of their lives and not a fun time for their friends either.”
Reesa will celebrate her first birthday on July 30.
One of the biggest problems the family faces is the cost of treatment for Reesa, including around-the-clock nursing care and travel from their home in Arizona to Pittsburgh, where the best doctor trained in treating the disease is located. The costs of the care are estimated at $70,000 or more a year.
Schumaker is doing what he can to help raise money to offset those costs. He has put together a fundraising benefit for Thursday night at the SunRise United Methodist Church in O’Fallon, Mo., which will include autographs and memorabilia from his teammates, former Cardinals, the Rams, Blues, other athletes and performers, including guitars autographed by country music stars Garth Brooks, Taylor Swift and more.
Admission is $10, with additional prices for some autographs. The evening will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Among the current Cardinals scheduled to make appearances are Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, David Freese, Lance Berkman and Jon Jay.
“I feel like I’ve been given a platform to help people, and I feel like this is my responsibility,” Schumaker said. “Not too many people can go out in the community and be in this position. I couldn’t have gotten this whole thing together without playing for the Cardinals and the support this community has toward its players. I felt like maybe I could do something to help, but the response has been above and beyond what I could have imagined.
“It’s been amazing to see the community come together. I’ve had people contact me through Facebook and a lot of other ways wanting to help without even knowing who Sean and Jamie are. For them to do that has been incredible to see.
“Living in California, I wouldn’t be able to do this. This is strictly because I play here that I am able to it. It’s going to be a good day.”
Trying to help the family have as many good days as possible is what the fundraiser is all about. It also was the reason half of the proceeds from manager Mike Matheny’s golf tournament earlier this summer also were donated to the Baby Reesa foundation.
“Her condition is only going to get worse,” Schumaker said. “The main thing is to try to keep her comfortable as long as she is alive. That is why it is so critical to help them as much as we can.”
As a parent of two healthy children, Schumaker also feels a responsibility to recognize how that is a fact which parents should never take for granted.
“To have something like this happen to a kid is rough for me to figure out,” he said. “I can deal with people dying when they are in their 70s and 80s. But for a horrible illness to happen to a kid is tough. I think there are roughly 20 kids a year diagnosed with it, it’s like a one in 200 million chance. You have a better chance of winning the lottery.”
SunRise United Methodist Church is located at 7116 Twin Chimneys Blvd. in O’Fallon. For additional information, call 636-978-0461 or 636-980-3740. More details also are available at www.babyreesa.com, including the address to send donations for people not able to attend Thursday night’s fundraiser.