A star-studded lineup of current and former professional baseball players is headlining a father-son breakfast so that poor children can get a private school education their families could otherwise only dream of.
The roster includes Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Cishek, former Marlins pitcher Carl Pavano, Marlins catching coach Brian Schneider and Marlins World Series pitching coach Wayne “Rosey” Rosenthal, now the athletic director for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School.
Each of the special guests will speak about the opportunities they’ve had in life and baseball. Rosenthal’s son is in fifth grade at the school, which he transferred to this year.
“I wanted him to be a part of it,” Rosenthal said. “God put me in this spot, and the direction he’s putting me in and my son’s education, it’s a great path.”
Several surprise Marlins players will sign autographs for the fathers and sons after the breakfast, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the church and school. The menu includes vegetable frittatas, Belgian waffles, hash brown potato and sausage casserole, omelettes, fruit and baked goodies.
The event benefits the school’s new Cornerstone Scholarship program, which pays the way for a student to attend the school through eighth grade. The first beneficiary is in a prekindergarten class this year, St. Mark’s Chief Financial Officer Ron McElhone said.
St. Mark’s is working with partners such as New Bethel Missionary Baptist in West Palm Beach to identify students with academic promise and support at home whose families just can’t afford the roughly $15,000-a-year tuition.
The school’s board committed to offering one scholarship a year, and any money raised will help pay the way for a second or third child, McElhone said. St. Mark’s has offered scholarships in the past, but those were primarily financial aid for families who came close to being able to afford it.
The church’s congregation raised $20,000 for the scholarship at three services in one weekend, enough to cover tuition and any other items such as a laptop or sneakers that a student may need to excel at the school, McElhone said.
“I knew we had generous hearts to support something like this,” he said.
The students are even given gift cards to give as presents when they’re invited to birthday parties for each of their classmates so that they don’t feel awkward or out of place.
The church has a mandate to do the right thing in the world — in this case, sharing the gift of a high-quality, faith-based education, St. Mark’s Rector Rev. Jim Cook said.
“As people of faith, you give away what you have,” Cook said.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Father-son breakfast to raise money for scholarship
WHO: Open to all. Hosted by Wayne Rosenthal, World Series pitching coach for the 2003 Marlins, special guests include Chicago Cubs Pitcher Steve Cishek, former Marlins Pitcher Carl Pavano and Marlins Catching Coach Brian Schneider
WHEN: 8:30-10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 27
WHERE: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church & School, 3395 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens
TICKETS: $30 for adults, $20 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. Buy them in advance online at www.stmarkspbg.org/cornerstone or call 561-623-2623.