Donations pour in for Bullfrogs’ opener

Written by Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat March 13, 2013 08:01 pm

More than 45 vendors have donated thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to be raffled later this month at a special event honoring two fallen Bret Harte students.

Big ticket items include a HovieSUP standup paddle board and cosmetics package worth more than $2,000, plus gift certificates for restaurants, massages and other goods and services will also be offered, said Sean Plummer, mother of Alex and Macaila Marshall, who were killed earlier this year by their father, Philip Marshall, 54, in a murder-suicide at the family’s residence in Murphys.

“There’s going to be something for everyone,” she said. “It’s going to be a big event, but the raffle alone will raise a lot of money for the school and community that gave so much to Alex and Macaila.”

The event, which is being called “Play It Forward,” will be held in conjunction with the Bullfrog varsity baseball team’s home and Mother Lode League opener against Argonaut on March 20 and is also scheduled to feature an appearance by baseball great, Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.

Jackson will throw the first pitch and speak to players before the game. During play, he will wear Alex Marshall’s No. 15 jersey and sit in place of the former Bullfrog slugger in Bret Harte’s dugout.

Plummer, who is organizing the massive event, has been close friends with the former New York Yankee for three decades. Jackson is also the godfather of Plummer’s oldest daughter, Cortnie Alter, 32. 

Jackson will sign autographs for Bret Harte and Argonaut players only and has donated signed baseballs for the raffle.

Plummer said that she was able to acquire so many raffle items in a relatively short amount of time thanks to the generosity of family, friends and former co-workers.

“I worked at Nordstrom as a manager and buyer and all the other buyers I worked with at the time went off to different companies,” said Plummer. “I made a call to one gal who basically called the whole industry.”

Special T-shirts commemorating the event in both Bret Harte and Argonaut school colors will be sold at the event, which is intended to raise money to offset the cost of a special memorial put on by Bret Harte students for Alex and Macaila as well as for a special scholarship fund set up in the names of the deceased students.

Cheerleaders and leadership team members for both schools are set to staff the event and will sell peanuts, Cracker Jacks and other traditional baseball fare in the bleachers.

She said the event is more focused on Alex, whose teammates still hang his jersey above his spot in the dugout at each game, while one surrounding Macaila’s memory will be planned for a later date.

Entry to the event will cost $5 and Bret Harte athletic director Heath Lane said parking will be free contrary to previously reported information.

Gates open at 3 p.m. and the game starts an hour later. A disc jockey will play music and announce the raffle winners at the end.

“I can’t do anything about what has happened to my babies,” Plummer said. “However, I will always be their mommy and I will always represent them. They were amazing, and I plan to make sure this community remembers the good — not the bad.”