T.J. Collett Wins Community Service Award
Collett, who hails from Terre Haute, Indiana, is heavily involved with the NEGU/Jessie Rees Foundation, whose mission is connecting with families of young cancer patients, bringing awareness to their stories, offering them a network of helpful resources and sending the entire family encouragement throughout their journey. NEGU, which stands for Never Ever Give Up, has worked with Collett on bringing children and their families to UK home baseball games to experience pregame activities on the field and in the dugout, as well as be announced during the game.
“Being named to the SEC Community Service Team means more to me than any home run I could ever hit,” Collett said. “I’d like to thank the Jessie Rees Foundation for making it so easy for me to help put smiles on kids’ faces. I’d also like to thank my teammates, coaches and support staff for making this year’s NEGU Crews the best ever.”
As part of his work with NEGU, Collett has spearheaded an effort where members of the UK baseball team delivery Joy Jars to young cancer patients. The jars are stuffed with toys, games, and other things to brighten patients’ days while fighting the disease.
For more information on the Jessie Rees Foundation and Joy Jars can be found at NEGU.org.
He also has been involved with the Breakfast with Santa program, Backpack Program, Louisiana Flood Drive relief, the Lexington Miracle League and Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Collett flashed his prodigious power at the plate this season, hitting 10 home runs and slugging .576 in just 125 at bats. He homered in four consecutive games from Feb. 20-25 and then three straight from Mar. 3-6, including two games at Minute Maid Park, the home of Major League Baseball World Series champion Houston Astros. He has 34 RBI and 27 RBI as the Cats’ primary designated hitter this season.