By Dakota Antelman, Managing Editor
NORTHBOROUGH – Over a dozen middle school aged Northborough baseball players headed to Fenway Park, June 12, thanks in part to a wildly successful car wash fundraiser.
As his team enjoyed a day watching the Red Sox face the Toronto Blue Jays, Coach Eric Mayo noted that this trip was more than met the eye.
“It’s come together really well,” he recently told the Community Advocate.
Mayo, alongside fellow coaches Tim Citro and Johnathan Freve watched their team struggle at times under the weight of COVID-19, this spring.
Particularly, students were unable to take field trips due to the coronavirus and the threat it posed.
Hearing that, Mayo and his fellow coaches saw an opportunity to play a role their baseball program does not always play.
Mayo’s second cousin is Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy. So, Mayo got in contact and asked if the Red Sox would help bring Northborough’s middle school team to Boston.
“Sam said ‘absolutely,’” Mayo recalled.
As the Red Sox paid for students’ game tickets, Mayo anticipated they would have been able to also fund transportation and other costs associated with the trip.
That wouldn’t be necessary, though, as Northborough players and community members turned out for a car wash fundraiser on June 5.
“I thought it’d be a good opportunity for the kids to put in a little elbow grease,” Mayo said.
That fundraiser raked in over $1,500. Some of the money paid for transportation and concessions at Fenway. The rest went to the Red Sox’ cancer research and patient care charity, the Jimmy Fund.
“This was an easy opportunity and easy lift for us to make a statement to the Red Sox thanking them for the opportunity,” Mayo said of the decision to donate to the Jimmy Fund.
This major league experience ended the 2021 baseball season with a bang that few players or coaches expected even weeks earlier as the pandemic lingered.
Proud of what the team had done, Coach Citro offered a simple reflection on the year that’s been.
“Watching them come together as a team on the field this season has been fun to watch; seeing them come together off the diamond as friends is even better,” he said.