Moyer challenges chamber members to make a difference
By LINDSAY LARIN
Bellevue Reporter Former Staff Writer
January 26, 2010 · Updated 9:03 AM
Jamie Moyer is ready.
The Major League baseball pitcher is ready to rebound after a setback caused by a season-ending injury last year.
He is ready to hit spring training 2010 with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Most importantly, Moyer is ready to leave his mark on the world.
Moyer recently paid a visit to the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce as a guest speaker to talk about his nonprofit organization, The Moyer Foundation.
Moyer and his wife, Karen, founded The foundation in 2000 as a way to support programs that directly serve critical needs of children in severe distress. Over the past 10 years, it has raised more than $19 million to help support 225 different programs including Camp Erin, Camp Mariposa, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and "The Gregory Fund," Hutch School, Seattle Children's and many more.
"Our goal in life, our goal as a foundation, and our goal as a husband and wife is to try to make this community and this country a better place to live," Moyer explained.
Moyer's passion for helping others, and particularly children, came through loud and clear as he spoke about Camp Erin, a nationwide network of bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6 to 17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. The camp experience is provided free-of-charge and is supported by donations, sponsors and volunteers.
Camp Erin has grown from a single camp in the Seattle area to 36 camps nationwide in 23 states and one in Toronto, Canada.
"In 2000, we decided to create the foundation not really knowing what direction we were headed," Moyer explained. "We started out very small and 10 years later, we have been able to do a lot and make a difference in peoples lives."
Moyer has a lot on his plate. The all-star pitcher balances a high-profile career, family life, (the Moyer's have eight children) and his ongoing work with The Moyer Foundation.
"I always say the skies the limit," he said. "The only limits we have are the ones we put on ourselves."
For now, his number one goal for The Moyer Foundation is to continue to raise support and to find a local or national corporate sponsor to put its name on Camp Erin.
"I have been fortunate to somewhat leave a mark behind with baseball - a very small mark - but to be able to create a foundation and hopefully leave some sort of a legacy behind of helping others, that's what I'm truly reaching towards."
Moyer challenged those in attendance at the Bellevue Chamber Luncheon on Thursday to reach out and help those in the local community. Camp Mariposa, a two-day camp for teens living with drug and alcohol issues, is located here on the Eastside and has opportunity for growth.
"When you give your time, your talent or your treasure to an organization or to someone else ... it's very gratifying," Moyer said.
Beyond the programs and partnerships already in place, The Moyer Foundation announced this week that the organization will match up to $50,000 in donations through their “Helping Hearts Campaign” that was created to support emergency relief efforts specifically targeted to helping child victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
"Children don't ask to be in the situation they are in. Go to any hospital or just look at the Haiti situation, nobody asks for that," Moyer explained. "As a foundation, we are trying to help those who need it most- the children."
Lindsay Larin can be reached at 425-453-4602.
One reason my wife is not here today is because she is now trying to start orphanages for the children in Haiti. Her goal is have an orphanage in Miami, New Jersey and hopefully here in the NW.
Again, the sky's the limit. The only limits we have are the limits we put on ourselves.
I'm now 47, I played 23 years professionally. Its about opportunity and what you do with it. I love a challenge.
Win or lose on the baseball field it is very gratifying to be able to go somewhere and help children.
In addition to helping children in Washington State, The Moyer Foundation created and funds Camp Erin, the largest network of bereavement camps in the country for children and teens who are grieving a significant loss; Camp Mariposa, for children affected by addiction in their families; and community partnerships to help raise awareness and support initiatives that share in the mission of helping children in distress.
The Moyer Foundation raises funds for programs and initiatives through many special events, corporate partnerships and individual donations.
The Moyer Foundation is grateful to all of the dedicated volunteers, corporate sponsors, in-kind and individual donors who join our team—to help make a difference in the lives of children in distress.
As a baseball player, it's a lot of fun to be able to go out and compete and be a major league baseball player and travel the country and get the chance to live in this great city of Seattle.
Children who don't ask to be in the situation they are in. Go to any hospital, look at the Haiti situation, nobodies asking for that situation but they are there. As a foundation we are trying to help those people.
We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity and have made the relationships we have been able to make. Our goal is not over in ten years, now we are planning for the next decade.
It's a lot of fun and I may use the word gratifying a lot but it's true.
When you give your time, your talent or your treasure to an organization or to someone else...it's gratifying.
For me it comes from your heart. It's who you are and what you do.
Our goal is to leave a legacy behind as a foundation. I'm going to specifically focus my attention here on the Northwest. We started our bereavement camps here with Camp Erin with really no idea where they will go. We started with one in seattle and now we have 36 camps in 23 states and one in Toronto. We want to put a Camp Erin in all Major League City. It's a way for us to give something back to all these cities I've had the great privilege of playing in throughout my career and all the great experiences I've been able to take away from the game of baseball.
Camp Mariposa was established on the Eastside and was founded only three years ago. This is a great opportunity for people here in the Bellevue area to reach out and volunteer or donate to help support these kids as they struggle with addiction.