It has been a tough six months for Eastwood junior pitcher Audrey Flores and her
Last September, Flores and her brother, Jordan, 22, an Eastwood graduate, learned that their uncle, David Lapinski, had passed away. Ten days later, their grandfather, Gerald Spencer Sr., died.
In mid-February, Audrey and Jordan's father, Harvey, was suffering flu-like symptoms. Harvey and Marjorie Flores, who celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in November, were in the process of donating a signed Ohio State football jersey for a fundraiser for Doug Seifert, who was fighting cancer.
Harvey, 47, who was feeling ill, told his wife to take the jersey to the Seifert benefit. It was Feb. 20.
"When I returned from working the benefit, Harvey had collapsed and died in our home," Marjorie said.
Michael "Mick" Foster was very close to Harvey Flores. Foster's daughter, Christine, is a pitcher at Eastwood, and Mick and Harvey had coached softball together for nine years.
"He was my best friend," Foster said.
Foster, Marjorie Flores and others are in the process of helping to raise money for a new scoreboard at Eastwood's softball field. To raise money they will host a fundraiser in honor of Harvey, from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, April 25 at Varsity Lanes Bowling Alley in Bowling Green.
"Harvey despised our scoreboard," Foster said. "It's like two foot by four foot, and three quarters of the light bulbs are out on it. Harvey always said, 'Here we are at Eastwood and we have that scoreboard.' We hope to raise whatever we can. The scoreboard is $7,000 and my company (Wells Fargo) is matching dollar for dollar whatever we raise, up to $5,000."
Marjorie said her husband always talked about raising money to improve the conditions of the softball field and scoreboard.
"Several parents suggested after his death that it would be an honor to take up his cause for raising funds, thus the fundraiser," Marjorie said. "There are many folks involved, but a special thanks to Mick and Nancy Foster and Mick's company, as well as to Jay and Karen Young of Varsity Lanes for donating their establishment.
"Many businesses, as well as friends and family, are coming together to make the fundraiser a success, including the jayvee and varsity softball teams by selling tickets for the fundraiser."
Harvey Flores, who graduated from Genoa High School in 1980, became a father figure to many youths in the Eastwood and Genoa communities. Marjorie said that Audrey and Jordan, who played football at Eastwood and is now attending BGSU, got their athleticism from their father.
"Harvey was a sports person," she said, "and I was not."
Two years ago, Audrey Flores and Christine Foster pitched Eastwood to sectional and district titles. When the Eagles clinched the district title, Audrey, in her excitement, jumped up and landed awkwardly, tearing her ACL and meniscus.
"Her first (knee) surgery was not successful," Marjorie said, "and we recognized she was hiding the pain in order to play sports."
Audrey underwent another knee surgery last year and will pitch for the Eagles this spring.
"Harvey worked with her and was very patient," Marjorie said. "This was going to be their year together, father and daughter, to see all of their hard work pay off. This was going to be her year, and he kept telling her that. It's been extremely tough on her.
"Focusing on the sign and the memorial has been a gift. It's helped Audrey realize her daddy is still there, and it helps other people realize how special he was."
The April 25 fundraiser will include a silent auction that will include such prizes as a Wii gaming system, an Archie Griffin jersey, an Al Kaline autographed bat, an Ohio State national championship football set in a display case, three sets of four Mud Hens field level tickets, 18 holes of golf for four players at Stone Ridge and Brandywine, and one Eastwood family sports pass.
The Eastwood Softball fundraiser just received another enhancement last week. Thanks to the efforts of bowling coach Jay Young, organizers received a three-person (non-members must play with the member at Inverness) round at Inverness Country Club in Toledo.
Marjorie Flores said her husband would be thrilled with the thought of finally replacing Eastwood's scoreboard.
"He would be overwhelmed," she said. "He would have given that million-dollar smile of his and probably said one of his one-liners like, 'And we didn’t even need a bailout.' He probably would add, 'See, don’t worry about it. It all came together.'
"Harvey always told us to “not to worry about it,” and I always said everything in life happens for a reason. We miss Harvey dearly, but having such supportive people around us and carrying on his dream has touched our hearts in more ways than I can express."