Texas Rangers

Biased about Durrett Foundation, and completely OK with it

Rangers manager Jeff Banister gave Maddox and Paxton Kesner a bird's-eye view of batting practice Wednesday before the annual Do It For Durrett event.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister gave Maddox and Paxton Kesner a bird's-eye view of batting practice Wednesday before the annual Do It For Durrett event. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

With all the accusations and instances of bias in the media these days, consider this a mea culpa:

In no way can I report without bias on the Do It For Durrett Foundation or its event Wednesday at Globe Life Park. And, to be perfectly honest, I do so unabashedly as one of the six board members.

But there are facts worth reporting from Do It For Durrett Turns 5:

With more than $160,000 in net proceeds, the foundation has raised more than $1 million since the death of longtime DFW journalist Richard Durrett in 2014. Proceeds from the first event went to his family — wife Kelly, son Owen and daughters Alice and Margot, who Kelly was carrying when Richard passed.

The foundation was formed that winter, with the goal of offering financial assistance to families affected by the sudden loss of a parent. The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Delaware North have been key players in helping DIFD.

Sixty-four more families have been helped since the foundation's doors officially opened. The latest is the Gibson family, whose story was chronicled earlier in the week in the Star-Telegram.

They received $50,000. Dee and Ron Gibson are raising their two grandsons, Maddox, 9, and Paxton, 4, after the boys lost their parents in September. The family was given an up-close look at Rangers batting practice, and manager Jeff Banister allowed the boys to watch from just outside the cage.

Maddox also seemed to become fast friends with Owen.

One of the more special moments in the foundation's history —perhaps the most special — came just before the event started. A 7-year-old boy named Nolan (yes, named after Nolan Ryan), presented DIFD board member Emily Jones (yes, that Emily Jones) with an envelope filled with money.

It turns out that Nolan, who lives in Virginia and drove to the event with his father for the second straight year, posted signs around his neighborhood that he would be selling lemonade to raise money for DIFD.

The line wrapped around the block at one point over the three hours he spent at his stand, and his work resulted in $500. His reward, which judging by his face left him completely shocked, was a bat autographed by Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.

The live and silent auctions raised a ton of money as folks purchased memorabilia donated by teams, players, coaches and team officials who knew Richard — Derek Holland, Ian Kinsler, Chris Davis, Mitch Moreland, Yu Darvish, Adrian Beltre, Andrus, Hoggy Price, Mike Maddux and Ron Washington (apologies to those who I've omitted).

So far, there has been only one complaint about how the silent auction was run. He said the auction was unfair and unorganized.

Just as he passed when given the opportunity to submit a final bid, it's up to him whether he wants to return for event No. 6 in 2019.

Do It For Durrett is doing just fine without him. Of course, I'm just being biased.

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