From that moment in 2010 the Jason Motte Foundation has grown to encompass multiple events and outings to help raise money in as many ways as possible. Recently, Hampshire High School teamed up with Woodstock North High School for the last two years to host their own K Cancer baseball game with the proceeds going to the Jason Motte Foundation. Between those two years the two high school baseball teams have raised over $15,000 for the foundation.
Since 2010 Jason and Caitlin have expanded on the multiple ways to help raise funds for the foundation and one of their biggest is their annual cornhole challenge. Several take place in St. Louis, their largest is in Memphis every year, and just last year they hosted one on Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs. The Hampshire Baseball program was invited to work the event and had another reason to help strike out cancer with the Jason Motte Foundation.
“As soon as we got approved for the event I wanted to invite the Hampshire boys out to help work that night with us. When I got to see firsthand what type of young men they are during my time at the K Cancer game at Hampshire High School they were the first group I wanted to invite out there,” said Caitlin Motte, cofounder of the foundation.
If you ask HHS junior Pawel Barnas about the experience he was awestruck by the evening and still gets excited talking about it to this day; “It was surreal to be out there fighting for such a great cause with all the players that we idolize. They were so down to earth and friendly, as a young ballplayer it was just a fantastic experience. To know that we made a difference at the same time is fantastic.”
When it was all said and done the Jason Motte Foundation with the help of the Chicago Cubs and R&W Builders helped raise $121,000 for cancer research and support. Hampshire High School baseball was the only high school team there that night.
Caitlin Motte reiterated why she asked Hampshire Baseball to attend that night; “Those are great kids, they work hard, and they get it. They understand what we are trying to do and what it is for and that is a great characteristic to see in these young men.”
“Being at the Jason Motte Foundation Inaugural Chicago Cornhole Challenge, as the lights shine down on your when you step on the field was an extremely surreal experience. You dream about playing there one day, but being there in that moment, it made you realize what was bigger than baseball,” said Tyler Maglaya a junior at Hampshire High School.
Hampshire head coach John Sarna was extremely proud of the young men on the field that day and reiterated what Caitlin Motte had previously said, “when I could look down from the batter’s eye in center field and see how they had everything under control and were making an impact on such an important night, it was just a really proud moment as a coach.”
The Hampshire baseball program prides itself on its ability to teach young men how to give back to the community and be a role model for not just their fellow students at HHS but for the entire community itself. The Jason Motte Foundation has provided Hampshire Baseball with a tremendous opportunity for these young men to be that role model and the two groups will continue to work together going forward.
In getting to know the Motte’s you will realize that Jason is extremely grateful for his opportunity to be a major league ball player and makes the most of his time in the MLB. But, as you speak to Jason more and more you realize he truly embodies the thought that baseball players are more than dumb athletes who throw or hit a ball. They are people who want to make a difference in the world too. The Motte’s have provided a tremendous example to the baseball players at Hampshire High School and even if none of them make it as far as Jason has they will be great ambassadors to carry on the ideals of helping those in need.