Baseball and the Joy of Being Alive

By Triciajean Jones
Director of Life Enrichment
St. Ann’s Community

For as long as he can remember, baseball has been a huge part of Fred’s life.

From the days of tossing the ball with his dad to playing stickball on the street to the glory days of pitching for his high school team, Fred always loved the game. He coached his children’s teams, helped build the local Little League fields, and never missed a Red Wings home game with his kids…and grandkids!

Fred lives at St. Ann’s now, but he still loves baseball. Every time I stop by his room, he’s got a game on the television, and it’s a great day if it’s the Yankees! Over his bed he has his Yankees pennant and on the nightstand, his prized 1962 World Series game ball signed by Mickey Mantle.

One day last spring, our Life Enrichment team took a group of our seniors to a Red Wings game. It was a hot and sunny day, and the game was going long. As I made my way over to talk to Fred, I noticed he was starting to get a little sunburn on his arm. I thought we should get some sunscreen on him. His response stopped me in my tracks. “No! Look at me,” he went on, “here I am with my hot dog in one hand, my beer in the other. So I got a little sunburn. I feel like a man again!”

I feel like a man again… I see it every day. Fred feels most alive when he’s got his old baseball mitt in his hands. Grace feels young again when she’s baking apple pie. And Anna and Joe feel like kids again with the sun on their faces and dirt under their nails as they work in the raised garden beds.

At St. Ann’s, that’s how we do it. The experiences that our Life Enrichment Team provides for our residents are the things that keep our seniors engaged…in living, learning, and enjoying the moment.

Your support is essential to help us make these activities and experiences happen for our seniors.

Your gift of $250 will get Fred and his buddies to the ball game. Just $150 will support a trip to the Public Market for Grace and her friends to buy apples and pumpkins to bake pies in the Resident Enrichment kitchen. You can support Anna and Joe’s garden with a gift of $100 for seeds and dirt and fertilizer.

In fact, a gift of any amount will help us fill our seniors’ days with favorite sports and music, with food, with dancing…with all the things that fill life with joy and purpose. Please think about the things you love to do…what makes you feel alive?

And please give as generously as you can so that we can keep providing the experiences that make Fred “feel like a man again.”

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