MLB wives visit Gulf

July 27, 2010 5:25:14 AM PDT
The group was led by Megan (Mrs. Frank) Thomas and included Jamie (Mrs. Mark) Buerhle. Their first stop was attending a dinner at a seafood house to reassure folks that eating seafood is safe; they met with residents of Jefferson Parish out at Grand Isle and were able to ride out into the marshes to see the affected areas and wildlife; they met with city and parish officials; attended a Zephyr baseball game to support the commercial and recreational fishermen and throw out the first pitch; and visited a local animal rescue foundation that is being overwhelmed by people dropping off family pets as they can no longer afford to feed them.

1) Megan Thomas (wife of retired Sox slugger Frank Thomas)

* This is my second trip to the New Orleans area, both times in the wake of devastation. We need to be vigilant in our quest to help restore this devastated ecosystem that in turn will benefit communities and protect wildlife in this vibrant area.

2) Jamie Buerhle, wife of Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle:

* I was struck by Gulf residents who not fear their finances are in ruins. Just seeing the people today who are so scared of the unknown, not knowing if they are going to get another check or if they are going to work again. They asked us to come down and take our experiences and stories back to our hometowns.

* My personal impression was frustration and very eye opening. I felt like the way the media portrays not only the devastation but the steps being taken to clean the oil up and seeing it in person are not quite the same. I felt very helpless listening to the locals. I don't think the vast majority of people understand what this is doing to these family's livelihood and how long it will continue to do so. My heart went out to the families that feel like they are being forgotten. They have no clue if or when they will get help. I also felt frustration on how long it was taking to get things done as well as how difficult it has become for people to help.

From MLB.com upon speaking with the wives - They came because they believed those living along the Gulf Coast were being forgotten and their voices were no longer being heard. They came so they could spread the word to otherst that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to affect thousands of lives in every way imaginable. They came because they cared and they left with heavy hearts.

On July 5, a group of wives of current and former Major League Baseball players arrived in New Orleans in furtherance of their initiative to raise awareness and funds in support of the Gulf region and in response to the oil spill, a national tragedy.

For some, this is not their first trip to Louisiana. Megan Thomas, wife of Chicago White Sox great Frank Thomas and Co-Founder of the Baseball Wives Charitable Foundation, traveled to New Orleans with other baseball wives in January of 2007, after Hurricane Katrina. "New Orleans and the state of Louisiana are so rich in culture and have such a resilient sense of community," describes Megan, "This is my second trip to the New Orleans area, both times in the wake of devastation. We need to be vigilant in our quest to help restore this devastated ecosystem that will in turn benefit communities and protect wildlife in this vibrant area. We have a special opportunity to help out, and I would like you to join me."

The Baseball Wives group met with city officials and parish residents to hear their concerns and challenges. They also visited local seafood restaurants, wetlands and bird sanctuaries and threw out the first pitch at a Zephyr game on Wednesday in support of commercial and recreational fisherman.

www.thebwcf.com

How you can help:The Baseball Wives Charitable Foundation has a text program through Mgive (RESTORE at 50555). It only runs through the end of this month. We are doing that program in conjunction with the National Audobon Society. They are receiving 50% of the funds and the Wives are providing funding for families and areas that evidence need that is not met with BP or government funding. If you go to www.thebwcf.com, you can see the message and people can also donate through JustGive.


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