Oklahoma native Tyler Henson, wife lead Reading Fightin Phils' effort to help tornado victims
'These people have lost homes, cars and family pictures,' Henson says
This week's devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma hit close to home for Reading Fightin Phils first basemen Tyler Henson.
Henson, who grew up in the town of Tuttle, Okla., about 20 minutes from the hardest-hit town of Moore, is leading a team effort to raise money for a pair of families that lost everything they own.
"My wife came to me with the whole idea,” said Henson. "We’re going to try to raise as much money for these two families that we both know and see what we can do to give back to them whether it be gift cards, clothes, or anything that we can do to help them get back on their feet."
The Fightins players have donated items for a raffle to be held at their game on May 31. Autographed items will include cleats, gloves, bats, and apparel.
Proceeds from the raffle will directly benefit the families that the Hensons are close with.
"These people have lost homes, cars, and family pictures that they’ll never see again. All of that stuff is gone," said Henson, a 5th round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2006.
In addition to donating items, Fightin Phils players Jesse Biddle (@JesseBiddle_54), Cameron Rupp (@CameronRupp), Jim Murphy (@JimPMurphy), David Buchanan (@davidb413), Jay Johnson (@jayjohnr), and Seth Rosin (@SethDanielRosin) will be donating 10 cents for each re-tweet they receive on their respective Twitter accounts between May 22 and May 25.
"It shows character," Henson said of his teammates' support for the tornado victims. "It’s huge because not everyone is going to experience a tornado, not everyone is going to experience a hurricane, and not everyone is going to experience losing stuff. It shows a lot of character of what we got on this team."
Henson, who was born in Oklahoma City in 1987, is no stranger to the devastation caused by a tornado.
"I experienced the tornado on May 3, 1999,” said Henson. "From what my family tells me, it's worse than that. The city hasn't been the same since and now, it happening again."
The Fightin Phils' May 31 game against the Akron Aeros is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at FirstEnergy Stadium. Henson's wife, Ashley, and the Fightins staff will be manning the raffle table in the VIST Bank Plaza during the game.
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