PAWS: Life is Better with Baseball

Twelve-year-old Erik Gomez has one dream: to be a professional Major League Baseball player. He wears a championship ring from a tournament in Cooperstown and his favorite player is Fernando Tatis, Jr. of the Padres. Gomez trains five to six days a week at PAWS, a one-of-a-kind center with a turfed field, pitching machines, an amazing sound system and graffiti-lined walls. You may remember PAWS or “Providing Animal Welfare Services” as a group that supports city pet owners. The owners built dog houses, launched a spay/neuter program, and provided low-cost pet care units. Starting in 2018, they worked diligently on a new vision to serve the community through sports. After a few years and a lot of hard work, the youth and advocacy center officially opened. Cofounders Matt and Laura Piccone believe that sports, primarily baseball and softball, will be the catalyst for social change within their community.

“I still have a strong drive to help the animals, but you have to help the people first,” says Matt. “If communities are suffering, animals are suffering. If people are concerned with baseball, they start to […] [Fall 2023 Issue]

About Me

Sarah grew up surrounded by books and loved her notebooks and pens. She loved writing plays and performing them with her siblings. Her long stories won her the future author award in elementary school. As a fourth grade teacher, Sarah earned a Masters degree in writing curriculum, but decided that writing children’s books was much more fun! When she isn’t writing or reading, you can find her dancing to old records, playing board games or watching movies with her husband and three kids. She has a mini-goldendoodle named Oliver who likes to sleep on her feet while she writes. Sarah lives with her family in Victor, NY.