February 14, 2011 8:57:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Approximately $30,000 dollars was raised Saturday in support of former Mississippi State baseball player Ryan Duffy.
The "Do It For Duffy" committee raised close to $15,000 in a 5-Kilometer run Saturday morning and another $15,000 from a silent/live auction at MSU''s First Pitch/Meet the Team event.
More than 230 runners and walkers participated in the 5K. Eighty registered Saturday morning.
Duffy, who starred in MSU''s outfield from 2007-10, is paralyzed from the neck down following a diving accident last summer.
The Malabar, Fla., native was a fan favorite and solid slugger. He hit .358 and had 10 home runs as a senior.
"It has been so rewarding to be able to do this for the Duffys and to see the community rally around him to help out as much as possible," event chairperson Jennifer Prather said. "Watching this all come together and seeing the end result makes you realize how special it is to be a part of the Bulldog family."
Prather said donations are still rolling in, which along with expenses, could alter the final amount that is sent to Ryan''s parents, Kevin and Cathy.
Items auctioned included an autographed jersey by former MSU player and major leaguer Rafael Palmeiro, an autographed Baltimore Orioles jersey by manager and former MSU player Buck Showalter, an autographed Gator Bowl football signed by Dan Mullen and senior football players, and an autographed football by Peyton, Eli, and Archie Manning, which sold for $1,600.
The "Do It For Duffy" campaign started in the fall, when the MSU baseball office started selling wristbands. Fundraising events in Naples and Malabar also have raised funds to help defray the high costs of Ryan''s rehabilitation.
"When you''re at Mississippi State and are privileged enough to play here, there are certain things that happen that open your eyes to how special this university is." MSU baseball coach John Cohen said Friday. "The outpour of support from the Mississippi State family is special."
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