The Johnston community is mourning the loss Thomas “TJ” May, who was one of the victim’s in last week’s shooting in which his daughter was also injured.
May was a beloved family man and community leader, and was a coach in Johnston Little League. May had been a member of JLL for four seasons and was the coach of the Major League Braves. He was also slated to be the coach of the 10-year-old All-Stars this coming summer. May also coached his son in the league.
Days following the tragedy, the JLL Board of Directors met and discussed ways to help the players process the loss while also brainstorming ways to aid the May family. The league provided grief counseling for players and postponed play until Thursday.
Since last week, JLL has hosted a car show fundraiser, a card making event, and established a GoFundMe page. The league is approaching $54,000 in funds raised toward the May family after setting an original goal of $20,000.
“We want to show his family that we are all thinking of them. We are just trying to raise some money for them, every little bit helps. Anything to help ease the burden on them. The league is battling through it. The league is one big family, we are coming together as a family and that is what is keeping us going,” said JLL President Joe Splendorio.
Vice President Mike Orsini added: “The community has really come together because of this tragedy. There has been a ton of outpouring which has been great to see.”
The league will continue to host various fundraising events in the coming months for the family, including a Funny for Funds event. The league has also raised his team’s flag at the ballpark at Memorial Park and is hoping to create a memorial first base coach mat, where you would usually see May posted on game day.
Splendorio will remember May for his infectious personality and commitment to the kids he coached.
“We have a lot of young guys with a lot of energy on the board and he was one of us, he fit right in. He was a sports minded guy, a high character guy, a family guy. Winning and losing was at the bottom for him, it was about raising these kids,” said Splendorio.
Orsini will also remember the impact that he made on those around him in JLL and beyond.
“He was a great part of the community and such a positive man. He was a man of great principles, morals. He was a great father, he truly was,” said Orsini.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here