In 2000, after a former batboy on his son’s all-star baseball team was diagnosed with leukemia, South Plainfield resident Tom McCreesh knew he had to do something to help the family.
“I went to visit him at the hospital and left with a feeling of helplessness. I knew doing something to give back to the community would be the right thing to do,” said McCreesh, who organized a bone marrow drive and sought out donations in the boy’s honor. “Everything kind of grew from there.”
The following year, McCreesh founded Coaches Offering Assistance for Children’s Health (C.O.A.C.H.es Care, Inc.), a charity run by an all-volunteer board of directors comprised mostly of former coaches. Partnering with JFK Medical Center (now JFK Hartwyck), the charity made providing monetary assistance for pediatric cancer patients its top priority.
For the first three years, C.O.A.C.H.es Care, in conjunction with the borough’s baseball club, held a 12-hour softball marathon, donating all money raised to purchase toys, games, stuff animals and other small items for children entering the hospital.
By Victoria Caruso (TAPinto.net)