ITS Beyond the Keyboard: John Berardi, Little League, and the Jimmy Fund
John Berardi, currently the IT Director of the Applications Services group, has been with BC for 13 years. Before becoming Director of Application Services, he was a Developer and Manager in that group. Thirteen years may seem like a long time, but it’s a fraction of the time John and his father, George, have been involved with Little League baseball and raising funds for the Jimmy Fund.
For many players and parents involved in Little League, the season usually ends around the same time the kids get out of school. For John, his season is just beginning, as he continues a family tradition of volunteering for Little League and serving as liaison between Massachusetts Little League and the Jimmy Fund for the Little League Jimmy Fund program, which has raised over $3,000,000 for the Jimmy Fund since 1988.
Sixty years ago, when Ted Williams took his first swings for the Red Sox, John’s father, George, started volunteering for Little League. He hasn’t stopped since, and John followed in his dad’s footsteps, first becoming involved over 25 years ago.
Former Red Sox Rico Petrocelli and Mike Andrews (Jimmy Fund Chairman for over 25 years) approached George with the idea to have teams from towns around New England raise money for the Jimmy Fund as part of their Little League experience. George, the State Director for Little League in Massachusetts, jumped at the idea and the three of them kicked off the program.
At the start of the season, the players receive Jimmy Fund canisters to collect money, and information is shared with the teams about the program. In addition to playing ball, the kids spend time collecting money in front of supermarkets and helping out at fundraising events such as bake sales, car washes, and home run derbies. The kids understand they are doing something even more important than playing baseball, and that their efforts truly make a difference.
The Berardis encourage teams to visit the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston to see firsthand what they have contributed to. John told a story of one such visit.
“When we were on a tour of the Dana Farber children’s ward we met a young boy who was in for his yearly checkup along with his father. He was in remission and the best part was that the boy was more concerned about being late for his baseball game than he was about his checkup. He was wearing his Little League uniform as they were heading out to his game right after the appointment, something they thought would not be possible just a couple years before.”
The program combines two things John is passionate about: Little League and the Jimmy Fund. The players have an opportunity to play ball well into the summer, and to help out kids not as fortunate as they are.
John was recently honored for his volunteerism for Little League and the Jimmy Fund. Learn more here.
Click here to learn more about the Little League Jimmy Fund program.