COVID Still Can’t stop Nuxhall Foundation’s ‘next big dream’

The Hamilton High class of 1954 donated on Oct. 29, 2021, the balance of its funds, $1,500, to the Nuxhall Foundation. Pictured, from left, are Nuxhall Foundation Vice Chairman Larry Tischler, Nuxhall Foundation Volunteer CEO Kim Nuxhall, Class of 1954 member Russ Moore, Class of 1954 member Bernie Jones, and Nuxhall Foundation Executive Director Tyler Bradshaw. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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The Hamilton High class of 1954 donated on Oct. 29, 2021, the balance of its funds, $1,500, to the Nuxhall Foundation. Pictured, from left, are Nuxhall Foundation Vice Chairman Larry Tischler, Nuxhall Foundation Volunteer CEO Kim Nuxhall, Class of 1954 member Russ Moore, Class of 1954 member Bernie Jones, and Nuxhall Foundation Executive Director Tyler Bradshaw. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Credit: Michael D. Pitman

Hamilton High Class of 1954 gives Nuxhall Foundation a $1,500 gift.

The Nuxhall Foundation is still being impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic, but its leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic still can’t stop the organization’s “next big dream.”

Because of the ongoing pandemic, the foundation’s Miracle Ball is canceled for the second year, but Volunteer CEO and President Kim Nuxhall and Executive Director Tyler Bradshaw said they’re launching the COVID Still Can’t virtual awareness and fundraising campaign Monday.

“We were set for a fantastic, in-person Miracle Ball this year,” said Nuxhall. “We were unbelievably disappointed when we had to make the tough decision to postpone yet again. COVID Still Can’t is our opportunity to prove, once again, that COVID still can’t stop our mission to serve players and families with special needs.”

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file photo GREG LYNCH/JOURNALNEWS Joe Nuxhall gives his thanks to the fans during Joe Nuxhall Night at the Reds, at Great American Ballpark.

file photo GREG LYNCH/JOURNALNEWS
Joe Nuxhall gives his thanks to the fans during Joe Nuxhall Night at the Reds, at Great American Ballpark.
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file photo GREG LYNCH/JOURNALNEWS Joe Nuxhall gives his thanks to the fans during Joe Nuxhall Night at the Reds, at Great American Ballpark.

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The Nuxhall Foundation, named for Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame pitcher and former announcer Joe Nuxhall, a Hamilton native and longtime Fairfield resident affectionately known as the Ol’ Lefthander. The baseball legend died in November 2007 from complications for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The COVID Still Can’t campaign will last for three weeks, and will feature videos and other messages on the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields social media platforms, such as Facebook, to raise awareness for the special needs athletes and families who find purpose at the facility. The Miracle League Fields offers those children and adults who have developmental disabilities a chance to play baseball on one of two rubberized fields.

Supporters will be encouraged to share the posted videos and donate online at www.NuxhallMiracleLeague.org/donate. Funds raised from this year’s campaign will be dedicated towards the construction of The Hope Center, a 28,000-square-foot indoor facility for special needs athletes and home to the Butler County Special Olympics.

“Hope knows no season,” said Bradshaw. “We are committed to becoming the most comprehensive campus in the world for athletes with special needs.”

The Nuxhall Foundation also received recently a donation from Hamilton’s Class of 1954, some of whom witnessed the athletic accomplishments of the man still referred to by many as Hamilton Joe.

Bernie Jones, who now lives in Fairfield, used to be Nuxhall’s ball boy when he practiced at the North End Fields in Hamilton. He said the cl ass had held off giving the balance of the class’s reunion funds “because we didn’t know whether or not if we were going to have another reunion.”

“And every year that went by, it became more evident (it wasn’t happening),” Jones said. “We had talked as a group, probably four or five years ago, and we had three or four people that we wanted to give it to.”

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Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall, 1966 campaign chairman of the Arthritis Fund drive, talks with 6-year-old arthritis patient Becky Bemmes of Butler County about Arthritis Day at Fantasy Farm. Aug. 9, 1966.

Credit: DDN archive

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall, 1966 campaign chairman of the Arthritis Fund drive, talks with 6-year-old arthritis patient Becky Bemmes of Butler County about Arthritis Day at Fantasy Farm. Aug. 9, 1966.
Caption
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Joe Nuxhall, 1966 campaign chairman of the Arthritis Fund drive, talks with 6-year-old arthritis patient Becky Bemmes of Butler County about Arthritis Day at Fantasy Farm. Aug. 9, 1966.

Credit: DDN archive

Credit: DDN archive

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The class eventually decided to give its remaining $1,500 to the Nuxhall Foundation.

“Everybody knew what Joe had done, and everybody knew what Joe had done for Butler County,” Jones said.

Joe Nuxhall was a charitable person. Among his charitable support, he started a golf outing in 1985 ― which initially supported the March of Dimes and Special Olympics ― has for more than 30 years raised money for college scholarships for Butler County high school athletes (almost $1 million has been distributed). Nuxhall never stopped his support of the Special Olympics, which continues today through the Miracle League Field, one of the many legacies of the Ol’ Lefthander.

The Class of 1954′s $1,500 will be split to support both missions, said Nuxhall. The next Hamilton High School scholarship recipients will receive part of this money, and the balance will be earmarked for the Miracle League Field’s operation.

“My dad would be very, very, very touched by this,” said Nuxhall.

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Joe Nuxhall signs autographs, 1978. Photo courtesy the Nuxhall family.

Joe Nuxhall signs autographs, 1978. Photo courtesy the Nuxhall family.
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Joe Nuxhall signs autographs, 1978. Photo courtesy the Nuxhall family.

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HOW TO HELP

Anyone who wishes to support the Nuxhall Foundation can do so one of multiple ways:

  • Online donations and be made at www.nuxhallmiracleleague.org/donate
  • Digital payment donations can be sent to @NuxhallMiracleLeague via Venmo (Confirmation digits are 9548)
  • People can mail check donations made payable to The Nuxhall Foundation at P.O. Box 18146, Fairfield, OH 45018-0146

For more information, visit www.nuxhallmiracleleague.org/covidstillcant

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