A dream of a lifetime came true for Jessica Burris of Frelsburg, TX, last Sunday afternoon. Jessica, who is mentally handicapped, threw out the first pitch at Minute Maid Park before the Houston Astros vs. St. Louis Cardinals game ending the first half of the 2010 Major League Baseball campaign. Jessica’s major league debut was part of LSS Day with the Astros, our annual fundraiser at the big diamond in downtown Houston. Unfortunately, the home team lost, 4-2.
Members of the Frelsburg Trinity Lutheran Church, a small, country church near Columbus, earned the right for Jessica to throw out the first pitch by raising more money for the Krause Children’s Center in Katy, TX, than any other Houston-area church.
“Pastor Mosely made the suggestion and people just got behind it,” said Greg, Jessica’s father.
Trinity Lutheran in Frelsburg raised more than $4,000 for the cause. What the other churches who participated in the quest didn’t have, was a lifelong Astros fan with a dream – like Jessica, on their team.
“Jessica is the biggest Astros fan in the Columbus area,” continued her father. “She knows every player on the roster by their number. I have to print out a new roster every time they make a change to it.”
Determined to send her to toe the rubber on top of the mound at Minute Maid, Jessica served as a true inspiration to her church members.
“Everybody came out for Jessica. It was just amazing. We had a bake sale that sold out in two hours and people just kept giving.”
Jessica is no stranger to athletics being a regular participant in the Special Olympics where she competes in bowling, the 50-meter dash, and the softball toss – perhaps foreshadowing her call to the bigs and a trip to the mound. She can now count an autographed ball she used to fire the first pitch at an Astros game among her collection of medals.
“She’s pretty proud of that ball,” continued Greg. She’s been going around telling everybody, ‘I got to throw out the first pitch.’”
We’re proud of you too, Jessica.
The Krause Children’s Center is home for 60 boys and girls in the Texas foster care system between the ages of 11-17 who have been physically, emotionally and sexually abused and neglected. Krause is partially funded by the state of Texas. Remaining funds to cover operating costs of the 24/7/365 facility must be raised through private donations and events like LSS Day with the Astros. LSS would like to thank all the church members who participated in this year’s event for helping the boys and girls at Krause!