Despite the Red Sox' gaping hole at first base, it doesn't appear likely that free agency will lead Kevin Youkilis back to Boston this winter. But the two-time World Series champion apparently hasn't forgotten how beloved he was by the fans of New England -- nor about his pledge to help them.
Following through on a promise he made in August, on Tuesday morning Youkilis' Youk's Kids charity presented a check for $20,014 to the Goffstown, N.H., Babe Ruth league, which lost thousands of dollars worth of bats, balls, batting cages and other baseball equipment this summer when its storage shed was struck by lightning and the ensuing fire destroyed all of the gear within. The presentation was made at Town Hall by a pair of board members from the nonprofit, with Youkilis joining the festivities via phone.
It's an admirable gesture under any circumstances, not only as a means of aiding a community but as a measure of helping to grow the game of baseball -- which needs all the help it can get as far as maintaining the interest of teenage athletes. But maybe the most impressive part of the donation was the timing of it all.
Youkilis was dealt to Chicago on June 24. The lightning strike didn't happen until Aug. 4. That means he'd already been out of town for six weeks by the time he learned of the fire and what had been lost, and just as far along in the process of trying to move on with his career, yet the swiftness of the foundation's promise to help in Goffstown suggests the organization didn't think long about the decision to make such a significant donation when a need arose in Red Sox Nation.
And although he won't be returning here to play for the home team, Youkilis is bringing his nonprofit back to Boston next month, when he hosts the third annual Not Your Average Idol charity event. Slated for Dec. 6 at Royale in Boston's theater district, the event will be headlined by singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, feature food from some of Boston's best restaurants, and include appearances by local and national celebrities. Already there's an auction underway online where interested parties can bid on holiday wreaths decorated by Youkilis and other big names -- specifically the Bruins, Gavin DeGraw, Jenny Dell, Kevin Faulk, Chelsea Handler, Jordan Knight, Mike O'Malley, Doug Flutie, Jason and Catherine Varitek, as well as Youkilis' brother- and sister-in-law (you know them as Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen) -- and tickets are on sale now.
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