Meadows helps March of

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Dimes raise more than $10,000


Staff Writer

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Nov. 13, 2000 10 PM

Over a two-day period, the Pike County community came together to raise more than $10,000 for the March of Dimes.

As its fall fund raiser, the March of Dimes held "Brian Meadows Days" to honor the Kansas City Royals pitcher from Pike County, who has done his part to support children’s charities.

"I think he genuinely cares about children," said Dianne Smith, Pike County March of Dimes chairwoman.

The first of four events was the Troy Bank and Trust KidsAdvantage Walkmania at Troy Elementary School, where students raised more than $3,000 for the March of Dimes.

That night, Meadows was honored with a semi-formal reception at The Emporium.

"He not only agreed to do this, he enthusiastically agreed to do this," Dianna Lee, who coordinated Brian Meadows Days, said of the pitcher’s participation in the fund raiser.

Lee pointed out that just a matter of years ago, the benefits of folic acid were not known. But, the March of Dimes changed that and helped fund neo-natal intensive care units so tiny babies could have a fighting chance.

"We’ve come a long way…thanks to heros like Brian," Lee said.

Smith expressed appreciation to Meadows for giving of his time to help raise money for the cause of saving children’s lives.

"He does what he does with a great love," Smith said.

But, the reception was not only a way to raise money for the March of Dimes, it was a way to recognize Meadows’ achievements and honor a local celebrity.

The 24-year-old pitcher had a 6-2 record in 2000 and has brought honor to the city of Troy for achieving what only "a chosen few can only dream," Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said.

Lunsford read a proclamation declaring Nov. 9 "Brian Meadows Day" in honor of the "positive attention" Meadows has brought to his hometown and the "positive role model he is in this time when role models are hard to find."

The mayor also presented Meadows a key to the city, he jokingly said fits the vault, where Meadows can deposit some of the money he gets from future contracts.

"This is something I’m proud to come home to," Meadows said of the two-day fund-raising event he hopes will become something done every year.

"This is a great thing we’re doing," he said of raising money for the March of Dimes. "It’s good for everyone, not just me."

While the soft spoken man was honored with the praise and attention, he maintains he is "just Brian Meadows" and was surprised to find out his Charles Henderson High School jersey is being retired.

Number 21 will never again be worn by a Trojan and the jersey will officially be retired on Feb. 12 when a sign is hung at the school’s baseball field recognizing the hometown hero.

"He’s one of Troy’s greatest athletes," said Jerry Goodson, who coached Meadows in high school.

Goodson said he expected great things from the pitcher and has not been disappointed.

"Brian’s always kept a level head on his shoulders (even when the scouts ‘flooded in to watch him pitch’)," Goodson said.

"Every time I see him on TV, I’m sitting on the edge of the couch saying, ‘throw a curveball,’" Goodson said. "After the game, I just want to go to bed because I’m as tired as he is."

On Friday, Meadows, along with his brother, Brent, and many friends, teed off in the First National Bank of Brundidge Brian Meadows Golf Classic.

"I’m very proud to be a part of this," Meadows said before the shotgun start.

He was even happier afterwards since his team won the tournament.

Although a little late because of the tournament, Meadows mixed and mingled with baseball fans ­ young and old ­ during "Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie and Brian Meadows," sponsored by Bill Jackson Chevrolet Friday night.

During the evening at the Pike County Fairgrounds, Meadows signed autographs and posed for pictures.

Smith was pleased with the two-day event she wants to hold every year.

"I would love to make it an annual event," Smith said. "I’m hoping we can do this each fall when he’s (Meadows) home."