In honor of University of Central Florida baseball signee Joe Skinner and battle with cancer, the UCF Baseball team kicked off a fundraising campaign in March in honor of the student.
A celebratory remembrance at the UCF vs. Memphis game on Friday raised a grand total of $32,458 to benefit cancer research at the Florida Hospital.
Skinner would have been a freshman at UCF playing for the Knights in the 2017 season, says UCF Athletics, and Knights head coach Greg Lovelady recognizes the value of the legacy of Skinner to players and the community.
“Somebody that is supposed to be in our dugout is not here,” Lovelady said.
“For a lot of us it’s really tough – especially our freshman. Over the course of the last eight months, I’ve learned a lot about Joe. I think about him a lot, what he was like, and what he would be like in our dugout and as part of our team.”
In the effort to raise money, the College Baseball vs. Cancer 2017 campaign has raised $238,899, with UCF is leading the charge with the most of any team by more than $8,000.
“We never have a baseball team come in and raise this kind of money in the first year,” Vs. Cancer Foundation Associate Director Brant Masters said.
“UCF is our largest baseball fundraiser this year, which is truly incredible and a testament to the impact Joe had on this community.”
“Tonight was really a big deal,” Lovelady said of the Memphis game’s fundraising night.
“To raise thirty-some thousand dollars is a testament to our kids for getting behind it but also to the community for really backing us up and helping to fight this disease. That was awesome.”
UCF defeated Memphis 7-4 on Joe Skinner Knight. The team then shaved their heads in remembrance of the cancer victim.
The Knights take to game two and three of the series against the Tigers on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. and Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Jay Bergman Field.