07/19/2006 2:19 PM ET
White Sox present 'Roland Hemond Award' to Ryan Devlin
Fan sold World Series tickets to fund hurricane relief trip
CHICAGO -- After Hurricane Katrina hit on August 28, 2005, organizations all over the world pulled together to support the displaced residents of the Gulf Coast and the massive rebuilding efforts. Many athletes and celebrities made financial contributions, and others lent their names to various fundraising efforts. Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs generated more than $3 million for hurricane relief, in addition to building 20 homes through Habitat for Humanity.
One Chicagoan created his own relief effort. Ryan Devlin, 34, of Tinley Park, heard of the devastation across the Gulf Coast and knew immediately that he wanted - and needed - to help. He took up a collection in his neighborhood for supplies - water, food, clothing, toys - and rented a van to drive the supplies to New Orleans himself. When he returned, he realized the trip put him over budget. To pay for his costs, the lifelong Sox fan gave up his chance to witness history by selling his World Series tickets. After seeing the devastation and shattered lives, Devlin realized that baseball was important, but not nearly as important as helping others in need.
"It is a pleasure to have a humanitarian like Ryan Devlin as a fan," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "His concern for others took precedence over a lifelong dream of seeing the White Sox in a World Series."
Ryan Devlin will receive the 2006 Roland Hemond Award in honor of the sacrifice he made for the betterment of others. As the award's recipient, Devlin enjoyed last week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game as a guest of the White Sox in Pittsburgh. He also received a trip to Spring Training, threw out a first pitch on Opening Day and had his season tickets paid for, compliments of the White Sox.
The White Sox and Reinsdorf created the Roland Hemond Award in 2003 to honor those who show a tireless dedication to bettering the lives of those around them. The award is bestowed upon those who offer extraordinary personal sacrifice for the benefit of others.
"This award celebrates the character and kindness of Roland Hemond, while at the same time showing our appreciation for the unselfish nature of people like Ryan Devlin," Reinsdorf said. "It serves as a tribute to Roland and honors his commitment and selfless service to the community."
The Roland Hemond Award will be presented to Ryan Devlin during pregame ceremonies on Saturday, July 22, prior to the start of the 6:05 p.m. game. The White Sox will face the Texas Rangers at 7:35 p.m.