'Come back soon': Friends raising money for Crete coach injured in crash
A community coming together for one of its coaches.
"It means a lot and I think it means a lot to Aaron."
Mitchell Homolka is one the people organizing a fundraiser for Aaron Mason.
A former Doane University baseball player and now Crete’s Legion Baseball coach and Doane assistant coach, Mason was in a car accident in December. A month later, he’s still recovering from injuries that put him in the ICU.
Now friends, family, players and many others are putting together an event to help pay the medical bills.
"I think it's great," Homolka said. "I think it's great for the city of Crete to come together, the Legion Post 147, it's good for everybody involved."
On January 15th, there will be a spaghetti feed and live auction to raise money for Mason. The fundraising affair has picked up plenty of traction.
"We always joke as coaches how small the baseball community is," Mason's friend and fundraiser organizer Trevor Varley said. "When something like this happens, it just shows how much people care and how connected you can get."
Baseball brought Varley and Mason together. Varley has helped compile quite the list of items up for auction.
"We've got a Bud Crawford autographed boxing glove, you know, the G.O.A.T. from Nebraska," Varley said. "A guy out of Lincoln made a really nice acrylic painting for it. We've also got a Mike Tyson autographed glove. A women's basketball from the University of Nebraska, they autographed a ball for us."
Other items up for grabs include a Clayton Kershaw baseball and neon Budweiser baseball sign.
Homolka used to be on Crete’s Legion Baseball Board. His son was on the team last year — Mason's first season as head coach. He says they’re eager to have their coach get well for the upcoming season.
"I think some of the boys have gone to see him," he said. "A lot of them will text me because they don't want to bother him. They're all concerned for his well-being. Aaron touched a lot of them in a positive way last year."
All the support, greatly appreciated by the Mason family.
"They appreciate the visitors, people bringing meals and all the prayers they're getting," Varley said. "It's a daily process, but his spirits are really high and he's in the best hands essentially."
The spaghetti feed is free will donation. It will start at 2 p.m. at the Crete Friends of Veterans building at 130 W. 13th Street. The auction begins at 3:30 p.m. All proceeds are going to the Mason family for medical expenses.
A GoFundMe has also been set up for the Mason family.