By LAUREN KEATING
Baseball is the great American sport that teaches players the power of belonging to a community. When they work together, no task is too big to knock out of the ballpark.
“Baseball has done a lot for me. It has given me a lot of opportunities,” said Bronx native Jonathan Castillo. “I’m always confident enough to actually excel and do well in life and give back to the community.”
Castillo, a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays, helps needy Bronxites and others through the Cesar Prebott Foundation, named for the long-time New York Yankee scout, winner of the team’s 2003 Scout of the Year award and other honors.
Working independently from the Yankees in his philanthropy, Presbott announced on Tuesday that his foundation will send two ambulances, medical supplies and uniforms to the Dominican Republic.
“We’re doing this to help the community,” said Presbott, a proud Dominican, standing outside Yankee Stadium.
The Cesar Presbott Foundation, a non-profit, has been servicing communities for 29 years, donating baseball equipment, medical supplies, and food. including over 14,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to the Bronx community.
“Then, in the Dominican Republic, we keep going and send a lot of supplies,” said Presbott. These supplies include baseball equipment, clothing, medicine, and both electric and standard wheelchairs.
Rockland Paramedic Services donated the two ambulances to the Presbott Foundation that will be sent to the village of Consuelo in the providence San Pedro de Macorís.
Presbott said that an ambulance, like the one Rockland ParamedicServices Operations Chief Mike Murphy displayed outside of the stadium, would service thousands of people. “They really need these kinds of ambulances and the way they send it right now full of supplies,“ he said. ” think what Mr. Mike did, we are going to appreciate it for life.”
When an ambulance in the Dominican Republic was in need of a stretcher, Presbott reached out to Murphy for help. “I said, ‘Okay, I think I could do a little better than a stretcher’ and we ended up not only sending the stretcher, but also the two ambulances that we’ll be donating today,” said Murphy.
The ambulances will be sent with recycled uniforms, along with the standard oxygen cylinders, backboards, stretchers, and bandages.
“Although we try to save lives in Rockland County, if we can send some equipment to the Dominican to further their ability to save lives down there, then we were more than happy to help Cesar and happy to be part of his efforts,” Murphy said.
Presbott’s and his wife, Dr. Angelica Presbott, regularly return to the Dominican Republic to provide assistance to the needy. “I do it from the bottom of my heart,” Angelica Presbott said. “Cesar is the same. He could be tired, but he never says no. Het gets up and goes the extra mile,” she added.
For the people of the Dominican Republic, the Cesar Presbott Foundation has hit a home run.