PALATINE HILL -- An endowment to support the Lewis & Clark baseball program has been successfully established, the Lewis & Clark Department of Physical Education and Athletics announced on Thursday.
In 120 days, an effort by a team of alumni led by Scott Russell '90 and representing 14 different time periods at Lewis & Clark, raised the $50,000 needed to endow The Jerry Gatto Endowment. It will directly support the travel, facility and operations needs of the baseball program at Lewis & Clark.
Last October, in partnership with Lewis & Clark Director of Physical Education & Athletics Shana Levine and Associate Director of Athletic Development Monica Baker, the alumni group was assembled to celebrate the history and support the future of Pioneers Baseball. The mission was built on the idea to reach deep into the past and recognize the contributions of one person and his impact on so many. That person is Jerry Gatto, who led the Lewis & Clark baseball program for over 22 years starting in 1980.
Over the four-month period, 73 former players and friends of the program came together to reach the funding milestone.
"The impact that Coach Gatto has had on so many has been incredibly moving and reflective in the alumni support and engagement," said Russell. "But what has been even more powerful has been reconnecting with friends and former teammates and hearing about their lives, their challenges, their successes, and how each one highlights how critical being a student-athlete at Lewis & Clark was for them and continues to this day."
This spring, Lewis & Clark baseball is hosting an All-Class Baseball Coaches and Players Alumni Weekend on Apr. 15-16. The weekend of events is an opportunity to learn about the progress the baseball program is making, connect with other alumni and see the Pios in action at their last homestand of the year.
Gatto's teachings have come to life as this group has started the journey to recognize their impactful coach: Believe in yourself, believe in your teammates, believe something good is going to happen and believe that through hard work, success will be achieved.
To help keep the momentum going and support the Jerry Gatto Baseball Endowment, please click here.