On April 24th, 2016, Chris Doering and other prominent Gainesville citizens came together to play a few rounds of golf, enjoy the Florida sunshine and most importantly, raise money for an extremely noble cause.
Caleb’s Pitch is a local non-profit organization that was founded by Boston-native Tim Jacobby. Tim’s son Caleb, an avid Boston Red Sox fan, was diagnosed with terminal cancer when he was just 7 years old. After a long, difficult battle, Caleb passed away on May 10, 2006. He was 8 years old.
Although Caleb was unable to overcome his illness, the bravery he displayed left an undeniable impact on the lives of everyone he encountered. Caleb became known for his unbreakable spirit and his daily encouragement of the doctors and nurses often telling them “you’re doing a great job”.
In the words of his father Tim, who founded Caleb’s Pitch, “Sometimes I broke down and cried, but my 8-year old son never did.” That fighting spirit was on full display on a day in which Caleb got to live out his dream of meeting his beloved Boston Red Sox, an experience made possible by the Make A Wish Foundation.
Despite being weakened by medication, Caleb’s father carried Caleb out to the mound where he threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Josh Beckett. He would later watch Beckett pitch the Red Sox to victory from atop the Green Monster at Fenway Park.
Caleb’s joy and exuberance in the face of unbeatable odds are what inspired Tim to form a charity around two of Caleb’s favorite activities: sports and syringe painting. Syringe painting is a beautifully original way of creating artistic masterpieces by filling medical syringes with colorful paint and squirting them onto a blank canvas. The end result is a wonderfully unique, impressionistic painting that forms lasting memories for the children and their families.
Caleb’s pitch hosts monthly syringe painting events with local collegiate athletes. Each time a new painting is done, it puts an instant smile on a child’s face.
So it’s with a great deal of pride and respect that Chris Doering and many other gracious Gainesville citizens and former athletes gathered to raise money and pay tribute to Caleb Jaccobe.
(Pictured L to R: Reid Fogler, Chris Doering, John Connell)