Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Back in February, we premiered the Philly Sports Philanthropy series on PhillyPhanatics.com with a story by Joan Dowlin introducing Homers for Hope – its mission, its organizers and its sponsors.

Homers for Hope is the brainchild of John Durso, a player from independent adult baseball leagues who is also vice president/market manager of St. Edmonds Bank in Ardmore, Montgomery County. In 2008, Durso lost a baseball buddy, Rip Roscioli (pictured on the right in the cover photo), in a tragic accident. Roscioli was only 30 at the time, and he left a wife and autistic son with financial needs. Durso and other baseball friends formed a local home run derby in 2009 to donate the proceeds to the Roscioli family.

The home run derby was such a success that Durso, a visionary and passionate community leader and servant who saw similar needs in other area families, decided to expand the contest – now in its third year – to include high school students and adult volunteers.

On July 3, 2011, Homers for Hope moved into new digs at Campbell’s Field, home of the Camden Riversharks. 8 high school students competed in one division, and 9 adult volunteers competed in another division. One point was awarded for a ball hit in the air about 40 feet short of the fence (325′ down the line), and 2 points were awarded for a ball hit in the air over the fence.

Dan Baker, Phillies’ public address announcer, was also emcee at Homers for Hope. Dan met John Durso when John hired Dan to announce the bridal party at John’s brother Anthony’s wedding, and was happy to participate not only as emcee of Homers for Hope, but also took time to meet and greet the families and supporters during his Phillies’ road game experience and WBCB radio broadcast with co-host Greg Luzinski at Chickie’s and Pete’s sports bar. At one of the events, Michael Barkann and Ricky Bottalico were in attendance and posed for this photo with Riley O’Brien, a 3 year old boy waiting for a heart and double lung transplant, and his family.

Hear more from Dan Baker about Homers for Hope

Dan Baker lets Homers for Hope contestant Jan Reyes try his 2008 Phillies World Championship ring on for size


John Mader won the Adult Division contest (advancing out of round 1 with 4 points on a tiebreaker with more money raised), made the top 3 in round 2 (with 11 points), and saved his best for the championship round (with 12 points, for a total of 27). Runner-up Jason Sabol also tallied 27 total points.

Hear more from John Mader about his Homers for Hope experience


David McInerney won the High School Division, with a total of 22 points. Runner-up Ralph Martinez finished with 16 points.

Hear David McInerney tell us about how his father-son team predated the success of Robinson Cano and Jose Cano in the MLB All-Star Home Run Derby by 8 days

Click here for the full results.


The purpose of Homers for Hope is to help families in need – this year, five families were chosen, all with significant medical issues creating financial hardship.

Hear from Tom Conlan about what Homers for Hope means to him and his family

Hear from John Durso about Homers for Hope taking on a larger scale this year and also about some of the families being helped.

John Durso has high hopes for the continued growth and success of Homers for Hope, which will distribute approximately $13,000 to families in need. There is still an opportunity to support Homers for Hope by coming out to the Camden Riversharks home game on Saturday July 23 at 5:35pm on Homers for Hope Night (which includes a first ball ceremony) or by donating on their website.

Homers for Hope is seeking sponsors for the 2012 event. Jeanell and Derrick Morgan, of Monkey’s Uncle, a vintage clothing and sports apparel shop in Doylestown, had this to say:

“We are proud to be a sponsor of Homers for Hope. This is a cause which is dear to our hearts, and we love knowing that our donations are going directly to people in our community who really need it. Additionally, we have gotten business from supporters so we would encourage other business owners to look into buying a sponsorship because it will be worthwhile in so many ways. Good luck with next year’s event and count us in for another sponsorship!”

Link to a list of 2011 sponsors.

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  1. Philly sports philanthropy - Chronological list & links | Philly Phanatics - THE online community for Philly sports fanatics Says:

    […] Homers for Hope – a home run derby helping families in need (2011 wrapup) (7/20/11) […]

    Posted on August 7th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

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