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The softer side of George Steinbrenner – Part 2

Deceased Yankee’s owner George Steinbrenner left behind a legacy of charitable donations that helped many including the families of the Virginia Tech massacre victims and sons and daughters of fallen Fire fighters and Law enforcement officers.

The Silver Shield Foundation:

Our Origins

In 1982, George Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the New York Yankees baseball franchise, while attending the funeral of a police officer killed in the line of duty, was deeply moved by the ceremony in which the American flag was folded military-style and presented to the officer’s surviving spouse and young children. “George could not forget the image of the children. He was concerned about their education and who would help with the cost, so he established the Silver Shield Foundation,” said Foundation President James E. Fuchs, a close friend of Mr. Steinbrenner’s.

Who We Are… What We Do… How We Do It

Since that impressionable ceremony experienced by Mr. Steinbrenner, the Silver Shield Foundation has been helping children of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty with the cost of their education. We set aside an education fund for each surviving child to assist with tuition payments for prep school, college and university undergraduate and graduate school, vocational and technical school, and tutoring services (see Benefits & Services page for a detailed look at education-related and many other vital benefits and services we provide to the families of line of duty death police officers and firefighters). We send payments directly to the schools and tutors, and we maintain contact with the families to follow the children’s education. Individual and corporate contributions are the source of our funding, so these surviving spouses and children depend on your generosity. As a non-profit 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization (tax ID number 13-3120746), all contributions we receive are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

“The Silver Shield Foundation sincerely cares about its education fund recipients and their families. I will always remember the Foundation’s support.”

—Jennifer Rowley, scholarship recipient

Who We Cover

Our safety net covers the children and spouse of all members of the Fire Department of the City of New York; Police Department of the City of New York; Port Authority of New York/New Jersey Police Department; New York, New Jersey and Connecticut State Police; police departments of Nassau and Suffolk Counties; all police departments in Connecticut, and all other law enforcement agencies within a 75-mile radius of Manhattan.

Our Vision… Our Mission… Their Future

We are charged with the responsibility of preserving the hopes, dreams and future that police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty had for their children. Our work and your contribution is an investment in the lives of these children whose mother or father heroically and selflessly made the supreme sacrifice, laying down their own life to save another. Let’s make sure their sacrifice will never be forgotten. Your generosity enables the Silver Shield Foundation to carry out its mission of helping these children achieve a brighter tomorrow. After all, it’s the least we can do for their future.

“My husband’s death was overwhelming, particularly with four young children. The Silver Shield Foundation pledged to help with the financial costs of their education, support not only promised, but delivered with consistency. Without them, the education opportunities afforded my children would have been out of reach.”

—Susan Blackmore, spouse of FDNY Lt. James W. Blackmore, killed on June 5, 1998

From Silive.com:

Virginia Tech baseball coach Pete Hughes never met New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, and always rooted against his team as a devout Boston Red Sox fan.

But in 2008, he said Steinbrenner became part of the Hokies history forever.

On March 28, 2008, Steinbrenner sent the Yankees to Blacksburg to play a game against the Hokies. It was the second part of a promise Steinbrenner made to Virginia Tech once he saw news of a shooting massacre in which a gunman killed 32 teachers and students on campus.

The first part was a $1 million donation to the “Hokies Spirit Memorial Fund,” which was set up to help the families of those killed and wounded in the April 16, 2007 shootings.

“To respond to a need as he did and put it into action tells me everything about what kind of a human being he was,” Hughes said Tuesday from Las Vegas, where he paused from a recruiting trip to recall a most remarkable, emotional day in his time with the Hokies.

From WSLS 10 Roanoke:

Virginia Tech President Charles Steger’s statement on George Steinbrenner’s death

“We are saddened at the passing of George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees.

While Mr. Steinbrenner will certainly be remembered for his almost four decade long ownership of the baseball marquee Yankees and their seven World Series rings, we will remember him for his graciousness and generosity after the tragedy of April 16, 2007.

He reached out to our community in its time of need and suffering. He donated $1 million to the nascent Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund – a spontaneous fund of donations ultimately totaling more than $10 million. He invited the Virginia Tech Police and Rescue Squad departments and me to Yankee Stadium in May 2007 lifting the spirits of Virginia Tech Hokies around the world. And he sent THE New York Yankees to Blacksburg in March 2008 for an exhibition game against the Hokies.

While that match was no match, it exemplified Steinbrenner’s huge heart and passion for helping others ….and helping this community to heal.“

From WSLS 10 Roanoke:

Virginia Tech baseball coach Pete Hughes never met George Steinbrenner, but says his caring will keep him as part of the Hokies history forever.

In 2008, Steinbrenner sent the New York Yankees to Blacksburg to play an exhibition game against the Hokies. It was the second part of a promise Steinbrenner made once he saw news of a shooting massacre at Tech in which a gunman killed 32 teachers and students on campus.

The first part was a $1 million donation to a relief fund set up to help the families of those killed and wounded in the April 16, 2007 shootings.

Hughes says sending Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees to Blacksburg helped the community heal for a day, and was a big part of the healing process at Virginia Tech.

From Google News via the AP:

Steinbrenner had no connection to Virginia Tech, but after a gunman killed 32 students on the campus in 2007 he donated $1 million to the “Hokies Spirit Memorial Fund” and sent the Yankees to Blacksburg, Va., for an exhibition game.

“To respond to a need as he did and put it into action tells me everything about what kind of a human being he was,” Virginia Tech baseball coach Pete Hughes said. “It was an immediate response, too, by him — ‘How can we help them?’ — and within 24 hours, the logistics of that game was being talked about.”

A graduate of Williams College, Steinbrenner, nonetheless, funded the Ohio State marching band for years — his name is on a campus building.

“Mr. Steinbrenner and his wife were the driving force behind the new marching band facility in Ohio Stadium,” said Jon Waters, assistant band director. “We will always remember George Steinbrenner’s love of music and his love of the Ohio State University marching band.”

He was charitable with his time and money before he became the Yankees owner in 1973.

“I met George when I was 9 years old on a baseball field in a Cleveland public park. I prefer to remember him as a young man who encouraged girls and boys to play sports with enthusiasm, skill and courage,” said Donna E. Shalala, University of Miami President and former Clinton cabinet member, of the man who taught her how to slide.

From WCBSTV 2:

George Steinbrenner lived a very aggressive public life. But those close to him say his private side was surprisingly subdued — awash in unexpected humility and generosity.

Just ask thousands of New York’s beneficiaries of his good will.

And as CBS 2 HD found out from one of his oldest friend, “the Boss” didn’t want anyone to know.

Few people knew the private side of Steinbrenner better than Jim Fuchs. Boyhood buddies, Steinbrenner eventually became godfather to Fuchs’ youngest sons. They all got together a few months ago at spring training – just like close friends and confidants.

“He was a very sentimental guy. He didn’t want to show it. He thought it sometimes showed weakness,” Fuchs said.

But despite the tough facade, Fuchs said his friend’s emotions ran deep. He recalled a meeting in 1982 with a distraught Steinbrenner who had just attended a police officer’s funeral. He was particularly concerned about the kids.

“There were four boys and a widow and they folded up the flag and gave it to the widow,” Fuchs said.

He said Steinbrenner was worried about how the fatherless boys would afford an education.

“He said, ‘We have to do something about it.’ I said what do you mean we have to do something about it? He said, ‘What we will do is we have to start a foundation and you run it.’ I said wait a minute, how do you run a foundation? And he said, ‘You get money and you give it away,’” Fuchs said.

Based on that conversation they co-founded the Silver Shield Foundation, helping children of fallen police officers and firefighters pay for school. Kids like Nick Demutiis.

“Growing up without a father is like an extremely tough to go through. You see other kids, their parents take them to baseball games; their dads take them to Little League games and basketball games. I didn’t have that,” Demutiis said.

His dad, Officer Demutiis, was killed when Nick was just 2 years old. Now 19, he just finished his freshman year at Syracuse University with financial help from Steinbrenner’s Silver Shield. He said he knows his father would approve.

“I think he’d definitely be proud of me and definitely proud of the school I wanted to go to,” Demutiis said.

He said he’s learned about manhood from both men – the father who gave his life in the line of duty and Steinbrenner, who gave generously but quietly.

Silver Shield helps families in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Steinbrenner also ran similar foundations in Ohio and Florida.

Steinbrenner’s legacy will live on not just through his success as the owner of the New York Yankees, but will also live on through everybody he cared for and helped. His legacy will live on through all the family members of law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel that died in the line of duty, that were allowed to attend college at no cost. His legacy will live through in the healing he brought to the families of the Virginia Tech Massacre, and how he attempted to heal the victims and families with his kindness.

The Boss was a great and caring man and he will be greatly missed, but he will live on through all the great things he did and accomplished.

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