Oakland A’s prospect Jesus Luzardo hasn’t hit the major leagues yet, but he’s already making large-scale moves using the platform he has.
The left-handed pitcher and 2016 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has started a YouCaring page to raise money for the family of Chris Hixon, the brave 49-year-old athletic director and wrestling coach who ran toward the gunman in an effort to protect students during Wednesday’s mass school shooting that killed 17 people.
“I would not be where I am today if it were not for many of the students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, these people molded me into who I am today,” Luzardo wrote.
“I would love to help everyone but have decided to focus for now on helping the family of the school Athletic Director, Chris Hixon, including his wife Debbie and his sons Cory and Tommy. Chris played a huge role in supporting my dreams of becoming a professional baseball player and his loss will be felt by everyone in the Douglas community.”
Luzardo has set the fundraising goal at $10,000, and at the time of this writing, $5,655 has been raised.
“It is a tremendous community and a great school. Tragedies like this are always saddening but it hits you really hard when it happens to people that YOU grew up with, and that helped YOU develop into who you are,” Luzardo wrote. “I want to do whatever I can to help these people and will be leading the charge to support this community through my charitable efforts.”
According to The Mercury News, Luzardo was nearly at the school on the day of the shootings. In the offseason, he practices with the Stoneman Douglas baseball team three times a week. However, he stayed home because as he was getting ready for practice, he received a text from the head coach who told him that there was an active shooter on campus.
If you would like to contribute to Luzardo’s fundraiser, visit the “Supporting Douglas High School #DouglasStrong” YouCaring page.