Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.
Why? Why did we create the fund? Why should you support it? An open ended question that could take some time to fully explain. Still, we’ll give you the crib notes.
It began with a person – Lonnie Hawke. A gentleman that some call friend. Others call coach. Those most important to him call him husband, dad, brother, or son.
A little about Lonnie
If you’re looking for one word to characterize this man, just look at his jersey above. Brave! Interesting, huh?
Lonnie grew up in Sussex County, NJ; Andover to be exact. An athlete known for his participation in wrestling, football and baseball, his love of baseball and softball continued even after he married his wife, Beth. Sundays were spent as the center fielder in various men’s softball leagues in NJ and PA.
They made their home in Pike County, PA where Lonnie reconnected with youth sports when his sons – Lawson and Jesse, entered the picture. Participating in various leagues, he donated his time, treasure and talent to bettering the lives of not just his kids, but all the players.
Around 2017, Lonnie came face to face with a tough opponent – ALS (also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”). A debilitating disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord, ALS is stole away Lonnie’s time with his family and friends. Still, he’s left a lasting impression on many in his 50-plus years of life.
On July 19, 2018 Lonnie got called up to the “Field of Dreams.” Now at peace, he fought hard into extra innings. Lawson and Jesse both made their respective All-Star teams; Lonnie wanted and needed to share in that experience one last time.
Those of us that saw each of the boys play in the summer of 2018 know that they ran a little faster. Hit a little harder. Maybe it’s because they played with purpose? Some think they weren’t alone as they ran, caught and swung their way to respectable finishes in each league.
… and the fund name
All that Lonnie is, was and will be is wrapped up into this Fund. Literally taking his last name – Hawke, and turning it into the acronym for the Fund, we’ve developed a name, and concept that should stand the test of time.
HAWKE stands for “Helping All Western Orange County, NY and Pike County, PA Kids Experience.” When combined with the rest of the Fund’s name, you get:
Helping All Western Orange County, NY and Pike County, PA Kids Experience Youth Sports Fund
In honor of our friend, we welcome you to the HAWKE family and appreciate all that you can and will do to help us help them – the kids … through sports.