Friday, April 19, 2024

Fallen 11-year-old’s spirit lives on thanks to a driven community effort in his name

WILMINGTON – Three years after the local community was shocked by the untimely death of 11-year Alex Newsome, residents in the area are coming together in his name to help a worthy cause.

The Alex Newsome Community Food Drive is underway to benefit NourishNC.   The drive is held in memory of Newsome, a Wilmington baseball player whose tragic death in 2014 inspired the local baseball community.

Alex Newsome tragically lost his life after being hit by a line drive at baseball practice in 2014. Port City Daily photo/Courtesy- NOURISHNC
Alex Newsome tragically lost his life after being hit by a line drive at baseball practice in 2014. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY NOURISHNC)

Alex’s parents, Garrick and Brandie Newsome, feel the effort honors not only Alex’s passion for sports and food, but his giving spirit and motivation to uplift others.

Alex was a typical 11-year-old who grew up playing multiple sports, baseball being his passion.  He was a manager for the Roland-Grise baseball team in sixth grade when he was hit and killed by a line drive during a practice.

This year’s food drive to honor Alex included a collection drive at Lifepoint Church this past Sunday. Numerous local schools will be gathering items throughout the week. This weekend, five area Harris Teeter grocery chains will also help NourishNC.

From May 1-5, Winter Park Optimist Baseball families will also collect food. Newsome spent many days at  Winter Park Optimist and playing for the Wilmington Waves, a travel youth baseball team.

April 25-28:  Numerous local schools will be collecting food during this week including: Parsley Elementary, Roland Grise Middle School, Hoggard, Anderson Elementary,  Myrtle Grove Middle School, Blair Elementary School, Winter Park Elementary, Wrightsville Beach Elementary and Ogden Elementary School.

The Hoggard lacrosse team will also collect food at one of its games next week.

The Ashley ballclub enjoys a moment with three of Alex Newsome's teammate at Roland-Grise Middle School following a game in April 2014. Photo by- Joe Catenacci
The Ashley ballclub enjoys a moment with three of Alex Newsome’s teammate at Roland-Grise Middle School following a game in April 2014. Photo by- Joe Catenacci

April 29, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. –  five area local Harris Teeters will allow organizers to collect food at local stores.  Baseball teams that usually compete against each other will band together to collect food including:  Hoggard Baseball, New Hanover High School baseball and  Laney Baseball.

Other groups collecting food include:  the Wilmington Sting travel baseball team and a local girl scout troop.

Store locations:  Harris Teeter Mayfaire, Harris Teeter Gordon Road, Harris Teeter (UNCW),  Harris Teeter New Hanover Center, Harris Teeter Porter’s Neck.

May 1 -5:   Winter Park Optimist Baseball families (located at Hugh MacRae Park) will collect food for the food drive.  This is the third year that they have participated.  Alex played at Winter Park.  There will be a competition to see which team and player can collect the most food.

Ways for the public to become involved

  1. Donate food via one of the school food drives, drives at Harris Teeter on Saturday, April 29 or Winter Park Optimist
    (May 1 – 5).
  2. Donate to Nourish NC in Alex’s name via nourishnc.org.
  3. Food can also be dropped off at Nourish NC during business hours.  Call 910-465-0995 to make sure office is open.
  4. Share information with others by sharing our Facebook page facebook.com/food2help

    Laney baseball, along with the three other NHC schools wore special uniforms in memory of Alex Newsome following his death. Photo by- Lee Wagner.
    Laney baseball, along with the three other NHC schools wore special uniforms in memory of Alex Newsome following his death. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY LEE WAGNER)

NourishNC is a non-profit group working to provide hungry children with healthy food. The charity started in 2008 when a small group of concerned women discovered that children in their school were going hungry on weekends.

These parents decided to take action and NourishNC was born. The group has funded a backpack program for 20 children at Carolina Beach Elementary School. News of the success spread quickly and it expanded to a middle school in 2009. With widespread interest in the program, NourishNC took the steps to became a 501(c)3 non-profit in 2010.

The not for profit charity now feeds nearly 800 students on a weekly basis.

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