Midday blog: Pence reaches out to three kids dealt a horrible hand.

A good portion of the Houston community, including several of its highest-profile athletes, have rallied around three local kids who recently suffered an unspeakably horrific tragedy — one that left them with serious physical ailments and killed both of their parents.

The Berry kids — Peter, Aaron and Willa, all under the age of 10, were in the car when a collision killed their parents, Joshua and Robin. The accident left the two boys paralyzed from the waist down.

According to this CultureMap report, a slew of Houston athletes have visited Peter and Aaron, both avid sports fans, at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. (Willa has since been treated and released.)

Among the athletes was Hunter Pence, who according to the Jewish-Herald Voice, spent time with the boys and offered words of encouragement, along with plenty of signed mementos.

“I believe strongly that you’re going to be able to pull through this,” Pence told Aaron. “You’re an inspiration to a lot of people. We’re all looking up to you –- you fight to get better and find a way to overcome this. There’s a lot of people praying for you, including me.”

Pence played Xbox with Peter for more than a half-hour and exchanged emails with him, according to the Herald-Voice.

“Everyone’s thoughts are with you guys,” he told Peter. “You’re going through one of the toughest things and you’re going to need to be stronger than anyone I’ve ever met. I think that you and your whole family are going to inspire a lot of people. And ultimately, I look up to you.

“I wish you the best of luck and I want you to keep that motivation your whole life. Everyone’s got your back – the whole community – you have so many people supporting you. There’s a lot of love. Everyday, believe that you’re going to get better,” he said.

David Fantin, founder of Global Sports Foundation, was selected as the Astros’ Hometown Hero this month and was honored during a pregame ceremony before Wednesday’s game.

Fantin is the organizer and host of the second annual Midnight Madness Marathon Charity Baseball Game on Friday (July 22) at Faith West Academy in Katy.

Joining Fantin on the field was nine-year-old Ariel Leal, who has brain cancer and is undergoing treatment at Texas Children’s Hospital. The proceeds from the charity baseball game will go toward her family and help with living and medical expenses.

To learn more about David Fantin’s foundation, the baseball charity marathon game, or to donate, visit http://www.globalsportsfoundation.org.


Keeping with the theme of helping those in need, the folks at nationalhittingcontest.com are conducting an ongoing fundraiser for Buddy Lamothe and two other similarly injured college baseball players.

One hundred percent of funds raised by individuals, teams, schools, fraternities, sororities, sports associations, church youth groups or businesses go directly to the families. People who would like to participate in the challenge are encouraged to contact info@NationalHittingContest.com.

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Questions? Email afooter@astros.com



I remember when that accident happened. There are no words to say about how sorry we all were here. The children have a strong support, but they face a liftime of
horrible memories. I’ve lifted this family in prayer, since the accident. Hunter will
probably never know how much the city of Houston thanks him for his involvement
in their lives. We all should take that extra minute to kiss our children, and tell them
how very much we love them. Take time folks, tomorrow is not promised. Becky:)🙂

That was so nice of Hunter!!! He is so great to our community!! We can’t trade him!!

Hi Alyson – First , thank you for always being there for the ‘Stros, and the fans – and, for sharing these events with us. I’ve always admired the Astros’ involvement in the community, and I pray these children will make it through to a great life. Second, please wave your magic wand and keep Hunter Pence with the ‘Stros! Seeing Pence leave would just be too much, this season. Pence and Bourn are such a great nucleus for the future. They bring so much more to the team, and the city, than just stats on a page – I know you always see that. I hope Mr. Wade can, too. Thanks for everything!🙂

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