Texas Rangers Help Raise Funds To Support A Local Family In Need

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Many members of the Texas Rangers organization spent part of their off day on July 9th helping support the Do it for Durett Foundation. Created in honor of former ESPN journalist Richard Durett who passed away suddenly at the age of 38 last June leaving behind a pregnant wife and two children, the foundation is now dedicated to supporting others who have experienced the sudden and devastating loss of a loved one.

The Rangers had a special connection with Durett whose main beat was covering Major League Baseball, especially the Rangers first for the Dallas Morning News and then for ESPN. While the proceeds from last year’s fundraising event went to support Durett’s family, this year’s event raised over $50,000 for the family of Jason Duggar, a former colleague of Durrett’s at The Dallas Morning News who passed away unexpectedly last September.

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This year’s event, held at Globe Life Park, had an 80’s theme and featured performances and contributions from numerous Texas Rangers players and front office members. The grand finale featured Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels, assistant general manager Thad Levine, shortstop Elvis Andrus and others singing “We Are the World” a song originally produced in the 1985 to raise money for the needy in Africa.

Never one to miss an opportunity to show off his silly side, starting pitcher Derek Holland joined Texas country music star Case Donahew and radio host Ben Rogers on stage to perform “Don’t Stop Belivin’” by Journey.

"The Texas Rangers have a history of community involvement and according to an article by Cody Stavenhagen of MLB.com, “Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was the first to bring up the idea of creating a yearly event, and Do It For Durrett became a registered nonprofit…” Link"

Durett’s widow, Kelly, fully supported the idea of having an annual event in honor of her husband’s memory, but with one condition. Since she had received $200,000 from last year’s event, Mrs. Durett insisted that the proceeds from this year’s event go to another family in need.

Fox Sports Southwest reporter and friend of Richard Durett, Anthony Andro serves as the media spokesperson for the foundation. In the MLB.com article, he explains why it made sense for this year’s event to help a family other than Durett’s.

"“Richard was always trying to help people,” Andro said. “That was the one character trait that Richard had that I think we all wished we had. He would help a stranger. He would help a coworker. He would help a competitor. It didn’t matter. That’s what separated Richard from everyone else we knew, so it just made sense if we could help somebody else.”"

The evening featured a performance from Donahew as well as silent and live auctions of sports memorabilia and other sports themed opportunities such as sitting next to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at a game. Andrus, Holland and Dallas Maverick’s forward Chandler Parsons also auctioned themselves off for a date.

Though the Rangers are the driving force behind this event, support has come from around Major League Baseball.

"“I think we had every Major League team contribute something last year,” Andro said. “It speaks to Richard. … When the Yankees are sending you an autographed Derek Jeter bat, you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s pretty cool.’”"

The foundation’s president, Fox Sports Southwest reporter Emily Jones reveals how important the Rangers organization is to the Do It For Durrett Foundation.

"“The Rangers have just been so supportive from top to bottom,” Jones said. “[Rangers assistant vice president] Taunee Taylor and her staff know how to put on events like this, and we really don’t, so their help and guidance along the way has really, really, helped.”"

In addition to the organization’s support of the Durett Foundation, the Rangers also have their own charity foundation The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation that focuses on improving the lives of children in need through education, health initiatives, funding of youth baseball programs and support in other areas of need.

In the wake of Durett’s passing last year, his colleagues and peers shared heartwarming testimonies about his genuine character and kindness. Many of those views are included in the video below.

While the events that happen on the field at Globe Life Park get the most coverage, the Rangers are champions off the field because of what they give back to the community. While the world of those who knew and loved Durett will forever be empty without their father, husband and friend, the way he lived his life has posthumously begun to make the world better in ways that would have made Durett proud.

Next: Texas Rangers Struggling Against Bad Teams

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