Monday, January 18, 2010

The Moyer Foundation

At a family event in Seattle over the weekend I had a chance to catch up with a cousin I don’t see too often, Gary Pollock. I knew that for the past 8 years he’s been the Executive Director of a non-profit called the Moyer Foundation, but I didn’t know much about the organization or what it does. In the course of our conversation and a subsequent visit to their website, I was impressed both with the work they do and the spirit and commitment that created the foundation.

Baseball fans know that Jaime Moyer is an All Star pitcher with an outstanding record over many years in the big leagues. At the age of 47, long past the retirement age of his peers, he’s still a starter for the Philadelphia Phillies. It is said that his work ethic and competitive fire are major contributors to his phenomenal longevity on the field.

I think there are other factors at work, less visible to the public but evident in the charitable foundation that he and his wife Karen established. I should say that I don’t know the man, probably saw him pitch a few times on TV but can’t remember when, and have no stake in how he is perceived. I’m reacting to what appears to me to be a larger context in which he operates. And in that bigger picture there is a lesson for all of us.

Clearly, Moyer’s success in baseball opened up additional opportunities for him. Many athletes have used their name and talent to further charitable work, and I assume good has resulted from their efforts. But there is something about the depth and quality of what the Moyer Foundation stands for, helping children in distress, that sets it apart. It is palpably authentic. I say it is the heart and spirit generated by Jamie and Karen Moyer’s personal commitment that makes this so.

If you are human you have an ego. That’s a given. But I see no sign that the Moyer Foundation is an ego trip or a way for the founders to get credit for doing good work. That’s what got my attention initially. It looks solid, not flashy. Straightforward, not manipulative. Empowering, not selfish. I’m sure my cousin Gary and his staff reflect these qualities. They are, after all, the people on the front lines every day making it happen. But all this is inside the context created by Jaime and Karen Moyer.

Go to and see for yourself. You’ll be happy you did.


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