Connor Weldy is all too familiar with Scottish Rite’s hospital near Perimeter Mall.
It was there that doctors discovered a brain clot in the West Forsyth senior baseball player when he was 5 years old. Weldy and his family drove to the hospital once a month over the next six months for MRIs to monitor the size of the blood clot. And then, it was gone.
Recently, Weldy has done radio-thons with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to help raise money, most recently this past December, but he wanted to do more.
“I was just thinking about how our baseball team could make a little bit of a difference for Children’s,” Weldy said.
Weldy and Wolverines head coach Mike Pruitt noticed a perfect opportunity on the team’s schedule. West was set to play at The Marist School on April 7 during spring break – less than 3 miles away from Scottish Rite’s. They’d see how much money they could raise by then and deliver it to the hospital before the team’s game.
Weldy and the baseball team kept it simple. Every morning they sold Chick-Fil-A biscuits at West. They put jars in all fourth period classes to collect donations. The class that raised the most got a pizza party.
Weldy didn’t even set a goal.
“I didn’t know anything about how much we could raise,” he said.
They ended up raising $2,500.
“I was actually kind of surprised by it, honestly,” Weldy said.
This past Friday, the baseball team stopped by Scottish Rite’s to present CHOA with a check. They also brought autographed baseballs and caps for the hospital’s young patients.
It was supposed to be a short trip, but Pruitt said the team stayed longer than expected because players enjoyed interacting with the patients, in particular Weldy and junior catcher Indiana Stanley.
“(Stanley) said it was one of the best experiences he’d had in a while,” Weldy said. “He actually bonded pretty well with one of the kids.
“I really do think it made a difference with everyone, just being able to see these kids that are less fortunate and how blessed we are to get to go out on the baseball field every day and how much of a privilege it is for us.”
Pruitt added: “If it impacts just one (player) in a positive way, it matters. … We need to put them in front of as many things as we can to see how things are.”
When they left, West went to Perimeter Mall to eat and hang out together as a team. And at Marist, they won a baseball game, 2-1.
“It was a good day,” Pruitt said.