Thomasville’s Rookie of the Year gives back
Most know Judy Younts as the executive director of Communities in Schools of Thomasville. On Thursday night, she was the hostess who reintroduced one of Major League Baseball’s brightest young stars to his hometown admirers.
“I had told his parents who were over here many years ago, ‘When he hits the big time, he’s coming back for me,’” Younts said. “So when they called him up to the big leagues, I called Eric and Pam [his parents]. They contacted Jeff Berry, his agent, and we started putting the wheels in motion. From June until now, this has been in planning stages.”
Wil Myers, outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays and the 2013 American League Rookie of the Year, stopped by the Thomasville Woman’s Club to raise money for the needs of children enrolled in the Thomasville City Schools system.
“It’s for a good cause, obviously, to help the school system,” Myers said. “I thought it was a good thing for me to be able to give back to the community.”
Baseball served its purpose as the common interest which drew a crowd of more than 100 guests to the Woman’s Club, but the impact of the evening reached far beyond sports. An array of relics from Myers’ successful rookie season was available as a part of the evening’s silent auction.
“Because of the many different programs and services we offer to our children, we need funds to support that,” Younts said. “A lot of the money tonight will go to feed children on the weekend, because a hungry child is not learning.
“Basic needs go a long way to an educational success.”
Danny Harnden, a sports reporter with FOX 8 WGHP, was the evening’s master of ceremonies. After Younts summarized the mission of CIS and explained elements of its dropout prevention program, he gave a brief presentation – including video clips – of what Myers was able to accomplish in his debut.
Myers finally took the floor and made a few remarks before answering questions of those in attendance.
“The biggest thing is to be able to help the kids,” Myers said. “I know it’s going to be able to give the kids more things in the school systems. My parents grew up in Thomasville, lived here their entire lives. Just being able to help the school system here in my hometown is big and a great thing to do.”
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.