Thursday, March 23, 2023

Of Baseball, Religion, and Legacy: Jerry Zamzow

Jerry Zamzow has been a Houston Astros season ticket holder since 1986. Not lengthy after that, he met his mentor, good friend, and fellow Alternative supporter Dick Hoefs at St. Martins Lutheran Church in Houston. As any diehard baseball is aware of, religion and baseball–not to say persistence and humility–are inextricably linked.

Mr. Hoefs, former Alternative board chair and longtime donor previous to his passing, launched Jerry to Alternative’s work to finish excessive poverty. Jerry exemplifies what it means to help our mission in a mess of the way. He has given selflessly of his time–introducing Alternative to Houston space supporters; talents–as a retired chief monetary officer he believes in and promotes Alternative’s mannequin of investing in folks dwelling in excessive poverty to create a path to sustainability and self-sufficiency; and treasure–his philanthropic investments have enabled hundreds of individuals to thrive.

However he hasn’t stopped there. Jerry is devoted in his help of individuals dwelling in poverty. In reminiscence of Mr. Hoefs, he made a beneficiant multi-year dedication and bequest by means of Alternative’s Whittaker Legacy Society. The Society is a neighborhood of individuals following the instance of Alternative’s founders, Al and Marion Whittaker, by naming Alternative of their will or making a deliberate present to Alternative. Jerry deeply believes within the significance of “honoring legacy, for one’s household, church, and significant causes like poverty.”

Jerry has taken near a dozen Perception Journeys with Alternative in Latin America, Jamaica, and Nicaragua. Jerry shared, “I actually loved listening to from the Belief Group members, about their companies and the way their youngsters had been being fed and going to high school.”


Jose Emiliano Urbina, Yucca farmer in Nicaragua
Jose Emiliano Urbina, Yucca farmer in Nicaragua

Probably the most memorable experiences was touring with one other Houston businessman. They visited a few of our agriculture finance purchasers in Nicaragua. As Jerry recounts it, his colleague was fascinated by two experiences: seeing the piggery—which actually appeared a lot completely different than the Texas pig farms he knew—and seeing an area Alternative director train a coaching session on the Biblical management classes of Moses to his regional administrators who had been going to show that very same subject to their workers the following day. They had been impressed and moved by it—though it was in Spanish.

Mike Brasel, retired Vice President of Philanthropy for Alternative, famous, “Jerry is likely one of the humblest, most beneficiant folks I do know. Attending to know him and work with him has been an actual pleasure and honor.”

Former New York College President John Sexton authored a e book, Baseball as a Highway to God: Seeing Past the Sport:  “The similarities between baseball and faith abound. The ballpark as cathedral; saints and sinners; the curses and blessings. However…past that floor stage, there’s a elementary similarity between baseball and faith which fits to the capability of baseball to trigger human beings, in a context they don’t consider as non secular, to interrupt the aircraft of bizarre existence into the aircraft of extraordinary existence.”

Alternative is grateful for folks like Jerry Zamzow whose dedication to lifting up folks as they construct their very own livelihoods is certainly extraordinary.

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