Tuesday Dec. 23, 2008
Evans, Ga--Westside baseball coach Gerald Barnes has been at it 33 years having racked up nearly 700 wins. The last three plus years have been his toughest. His wife sissy, had a brain tumor removed in 2005, and the battles the family now face make baseball seem like an afterthought.
That leads us to today where the game he loves took a different atmosphere with a baseball and softball clinic to benefit the Sissy Barnes Foundation. You pretty much name they coach, they were on hand to help out. From those in the area, to across the state. Georgia's Dave Perno was on hand to lend a hand. Before the clinic ended, Sissy Barnes also made it out with her husband right there by her side. The Barnes family has made a lasting impression on everyone they've come in contact with.
"Coaching is a family" said Harlem's Jimmy Lewis "You know if your family can't help you out then who is. Gerald is such a good man and it's such a tough situation with his wife Sissy. Anything we can do to help, we just feel honored."
"In front of all the coaches, just talking to us, it really made you feel good about what you're doing" added Rodney Holder "You know the quality guy he is, he just loved everybody there that's here today and it's really special for he and his family."
"It's truely amazing that they've rallied around this and to help us" said Gerald Barnes "It's hard to find words on how it is but to me and my family, it's really awesome."
All told, about a hundred boys and girls were at the clinic and all the proceeds raised go to the Sissy Barnes Foundation. While the kids themselves might not have realized the real meaning for the camp, all the coaches there did. As far as Sissy's health, Gerald says its like taking two steps forward and one back. She was in the hospital on Saturday, but was at the clinic today in good spirits, lifting the spirits of everyone.