Shane Victorino spends his year under many different roofs, but wants to be clear - Maui is always going to be home.
The Philadelphia Phillies outfielder also is direct about his intentions to continually give back to the place from which he came.
"Ultimately, if I had to call one place home, this is home for me," he said earlier this month.
AP file photo
"I'll never forget where I came from and where I was taught all the values in life that I go out there every day and I try to practice."
The most recent illustration of that is his benefit golf tournament, which took place on Nov. 19 at the Wailea Gold Course. The event raised money that went to Best Buddies Hawaii, Maui Family Support Services, Palama Settlement, the Hawaii branch of the International Dyslexia Association and Ma Ka Hana Ka Ike. A total of $60,000 has been pledged.
Victorino's foundation defines its mission as being "dedicated to promoting opportunities for underprivileged youth in Hawaii and Philadelphia" and taking part in "projects which provide children with educational, recreational and wellness programs."
The most tangible result so far has been the Nicetown Boys and Girls Club in Philadelphia. In September, a ceremony took place announcing the renovation of the 16,000-square-foot building with a pledge of $900,000 over three years.
The foundation, however, has also helped the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui, St. Anthony School and Waipio Little League, making a combined $75,000 in donations to those three groups last year.
Prior to the foundation's inception in the spring of 2010, Victorino, who also spends part of the offseason in Las Vegas, conducted golf tournaments that raised money directly for Hawaii charities, generating more than $200,000 for the Hawaii Children's Cancer Foundation and the Alzheimer's Association Aloha Chapter.
"When I did my Boys and Girls Club in Philly, there was an image for people to look at, and see where that money was going," said Victorino, who turns 31 today. "Here, there's no building to look at, or some kind of image to say, 'This is where our money is going that we've donated.' "
The recipient organizations on Maui, however, are well aware.
"To make a conscious decision to create a foundation, to give back to the Philadelphia community and the Hana community, I think that's awesome," said Rick Rutiz, executive director of Ma Ka Hana Ka Ike - the group teaches construction trades and other skills to Hana youth. "I can't say enough about how impressed and grateful we are for him."
Edel Baguio-Larena, the director of Early Head Start at Maui Family Support Services, said: "He's always behind the scenes. I feel like he doesn't care about the publicity. We let the families know there's the support from the foundation, and let the board know, and we put it in our annual report. But, the way Shane does things, that's a very humble act."
Victorino, a two-time All-Star selection, has an even bigger plan for Maui, as well.
"My dream is to build an eight-field complex, and name it after the Shane Victorino Foundation and have a field here, a bunch of fields here, where kids can go and play and hold tournaments," he said. "This is my goal. Now, is anything in the works? No. But, this is my dream, my goal, to have something like that, because getting an opportunity to play baseball when I was a kid - look at what it's done for me. I think having a goal and a dream to do something like that here on Maui would be very, very special."
* Brad Sherman is at email@example.com