"The mission of Calebâ??s Pitch is to get college athletes involved in providing positive, fun experiences to children in the hospital through activities and games," said Angie Ball, child-life coordinator at MU Childrenâ??s Hospital. "Itâ??s a way for our pediatric and adolescent patients to interact with our local athletes in a way that is fun and makes the kidsâ?? hospital stay less clinical."
Calebâ??s Pitch Inc. was founded by Tim Jacobbe, a faculty member at the University of Florida, to honor the memory of his nephew, Caleb Jacobbe. Eight-year-old Caleb passed away from cancer in 2006, but he was able to fulfill a dream by visiting with the Boston Red Sox and throwing out the first pitch of a baseball game just weeks before his death. This experience, and what it meant to his nephew and his family, prompted Jacobbe to found Calebâ??s Pitch.
For now, Ballâ??s team is working with the MU Athletic Department to bring five athletes to Childrenâ??s Hospital each month for a one-hour session of syringe art painting. Because the MU Childrenâ??s Hospital is the first hospital outside of Florida to adopt the program, Jacobbe was also on hand Wednesday for this kick-off event.
"We are excited to start this program outside of Florida with our hospital," said Ball. "And I am looking forward to helping make this a success!"