Fifteen months ago, Phillies' outfielder Shane Victorino dropped a bomb on Philly, the good kind: His brand-new Shane Victorino Foundation was gifting the Philadelphia Boys and Girls Club with $900,000, to upgrade its seriously sagging, 105-year-old flagship building in Nicetown.
(Here's the column I wrote about that.)
This Thursday, the Flyin' Hawaiian and wife Melissa will host the grand opening of the refurbished center, now named the Shane Victorino Nicetown Boys and Girls Club, at 4000 Clarissa St. Festivities run from 10am to 11:30 am (due to space constraints the event is closed to the public).
"I'm always thinking about what it means to be a role model," Victorino said last year, when I asked what prompted him to make such a significant charitable contribution, at such an early stage of his career. "I want kids to look at the Shane Victorino building and think, 'He did something good for us. Maybe I'll do something good for someone else. ' That means more to me than dollars. "
And he was eager to do something good for Philly.
"Everyone says how tough this city is on athletes," Victorino said. "But when I got here, I could feel the fans' passion right away. They care so much. I know the World Championship two years ago helped" - oh, did it ever! - "but the city has done so much for me, it feels like it's time to give back. "
Class act, all the way.