KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Tennessee Baseball Head Coach Tony Vitello is taking a night off the baseball diamond to help the Sertoma Center of Knoxville, a nonprofit that improves the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities through employment, recreational therapy and even housing.
Vitello is the keynote speaker of Sertoma’s annual fundraising event — Friendship Dinner.
“This event is a no-brainer because it's a nonprofit and basically empowers people to be a little bit more independent with their lives,” Vitello said. “And, it's something that we stand by because we're trying to do that with our guys.”
Community involvement is a top priority as Tennessee Baseball gets ready for the next season.
“The coaching staff is from West of the state of Tennessee, so we've been trying to integrate ourselves in the community, for recruiting purposes but also to give back. I mean, wearing the T is something that is a powerful thing for our student-athletes and the coaches,” he said.
Vitello credits his parents and his high school, De Smet Jesuit High, for his philanthropic spirit.
“’Men for Others’ that was our school mantra," he said. "We were taught at a young age to go out and serve others. One of the best feelings I’ve ever had was going down to the Dominican Republic with my baseball team and helping others.”
Sertoma Center’s Friendship Dinner is Thursday, February 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hilton Downtown Knoxville.
It’s a major fundraiser for the nonprofit. Money raised will continue to support Sertoma clients through recreational therapy, clinical support in addition to other services.
You can purchase tickets here.