May 11, 2010
BERKELEY - Before the then-No. 16/13 California softball team upset then No-3 Arizona, 8-0, on May 2, the Golden Bears took time to give back to their community. Through the Friends of Jacyln Foundation, the Cal softball team has adopted Bebe, a local child with pediatric cancer. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation (FOJ) is a non-profit, charitable organization that improves the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families.
Prior to the game, Bebe, whose full name is Barbara, and her mother, Nancy, who graduated from Cal, and her father, Geoff, gathered in front of the 439 fans in attendance at Levine-Fricke Field. Geoff threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Due to the all-consuming treatments that Bebe has been receiving in Texas, this game was the first opportunity that she and her family had to meet the Bears and watch the team play.
Following the 8-0 mercy win in six innings, the family met with the players on the field. The Bears signed their autographs, posed for a photo and gave their encouragement to Bebe and her family. In the future, the Cal softball team hopes to further their involvement with Bebe.
FOJ matches a child in need of love, support and friendship with a college or high school sports team, and the child becomes an extension of the team. After the adoption is completed, the child becomes an extension of the team where a unique bond is formed between the team members, the child and the family.
The benefit to all is a personal loving support network that creates a unique bond. The result of the FOJ adoption is the child feels involved and each individual team member gains insight into the value of helping others. Additionally, FOJ has seen this relationship forges a closer bond among team members magnifying the importance of a team operating as a single unit.
Through the adoption relationship, the child is involved in the team through text messaging, emails, phone calls and other forms of communication. Through the wide reaching press coverage, FOJ has helped improve the awareness of pediatric brain tumors.
FOJ has completed over 230 adoptions in over 20 different sports. We currently have over 1,000 schools on a waiting list as FOJ grows from a small organization into a larger one.
For more information, please consult the Friends of Jaclyn homepage at http://www.friendsofjaclyn.org.