Tom Glavine has always been a hero of mine. I distinctly remember sitting in front of the TV with a Glavine baseball card in my hands as I watched him pitch. I had his poster on my bedroom wall touting his two Cy Young Awards. He’s the reason I first started putting my index finger on the outside of the glove. I think at one point I even dressed up like him for a school project. Unfortunately I only got to see him pitch in person once – a 7 inning, 4 K performance with a W over Cal Ripken Jr. and the Baltimore Orioles on July 13, 2001.
When he went to the Mets, I was absolutely heartbroken. But I was happy to see him win his 300th game and would always root for him to do well (but just not get many wins for the New York club). When he came back to Atlanta, I was ecstatic. Our hero was back home where he belonged. I’ll always remember being in attendance the night his 47, the number I had worn on my 2000 All-Star Game T-Shirt so many years before, was retired by the Atlanta Braves.
Kids tend to put their faith and adoration in athletes that may be terrific on the field, but don’t necessarily deserve it off the field. Tom Glavine is not one of those heroes. He’s always been very involved in charities and helping others. Among organizations such as Catholic Athletes for Christ, the Rally Foundation, Volunteers of America, and the Georgia Transplant Foundation he is involved with CURE Childhood Cancer. CURE is a non-profit cancer research foundation, based out of Atlanta. They are “dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research and through support of patients and their families.”
I asked him earlier why he wanted to be involved specifically with CURE Childhood Cancer. He said he “got involved when a classmate of our son’s was diagnosed.” He went on to say that after volunteering to appear at fundraising dinners he and his wife “saw how little was being done and got more involved.” For every dollar CURE raises, we are one step closer to curing cancer for kids. Tom has graciously and sincerely helped through many different projects – most recently Club Diamond Nation.
Professional and Olympic athletes and coaches are competing against each other for votes to win $15,000 for their charity of choice. Those involved in the contest are Jennie Finch for the Women’s Sports Foundation, Glavine for CURE Childhood Cancer, Jack Cust Jr. for the American Cancer Society, Kevin Long for the Jorge Posada Foundation, and Barry Larkin for The David Maus Foundation. Each person that votes for the ultimate winner will also have a chance to win a one-on-one training session with them.
Certainly all worthy causes, there aren’t any losers in this particular contest – despite the competitive nature of those involved. Cancer has effected my loved ones and friends – including quite a few children. “The ultimate goal is 100% cure rate,” Tom said, adding that the current cure rate is approximately 80%. In addition to voting Glavine wants people to know that “folks can go to curechildhoodcancer.org and donate if they would like.”
I truly hope my Braves family can band together and make this happen with a simple vote that doesn’t take much time at all. Those interested can vote here. We’ve already seen a huge surge in Braves fans rallying behind our number 47, as within the past 24 hours he has surpassed Jennie Finch after trailing by quite a lot of votes. The contest isn’t over yet however and he needs your support! Be sure to vote as many times as possible before the contest ends on July 15 at 11:59 PM EST!