SAN DIEGO -- This is the first offseason that Padres pitcher Cory Luebke has lived in San Diego, and one of the benefits that comes with skipping winter in his home state of Ohio is he's been readily available -- and fully willing -- to participate in many of the organization's charitable endeavors.
"You see how appreciative people are," Luebke said recently.
Luebke, working his way back from Tommy John surgery in May, hasn't needed two good arms to help out this offseason -- just his time, which he and other members of the Padres -- players, coaches and the front office -- have donated to several notable charitable efforts.
In fact, each and every one of the Padres' players who live locally participated in at least one community appearance or took part in a volunteer opportunity this holiday season.
"Some of the events, like when we're helping the military and Little Leaguers of military families ... you look at the people you're helping," Luebke said. "These are people who are making bigger sacrifices for us. A lot of things have happened to them, good and bad, that have changed them forever."
Luebke said his Dec. 6 visit to the Naval Medical Center for the Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute with teammate Mark Kotsay, former Padres pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones and hitting coach Phil Plantier really resonated with him.
"Certain ones affect you in different ways," Luebke said. "For me, the one that hits me a little was when we visited the military hospital. You're meeting people who are amputees and hearing about everything they've gone through. That puts life in perspective."
Others players who were involved this winter were pitcher Joe Wieland, outfielder Will Venable, catcher Nick Hundley, pitcher Nick Vincent, outfielder Carlos Quentin and infielder Logan Forsythe. Manager Bud Black, first-base coach Dave Roberts and former closer Trevor Hoffman also participated.
Other events this winter included the NSW Command (SEALS) Family Holiday Party, the Junior Seau Foundation "Shop with a Jock" event, the Monarch School Crocs delivery, rededication of the Little Padres Park at Damato Field, the Armed Services YMCA Super Parent Holiday Toy Program, Salvation Army Thanksgiving dinner, Shop with a Cop, Father Joe's Villages Lunch, Feeding America, San Diego Coalition for the Homeless and assisting with all aspects of the Jackie Robinson holiday community party.
Also, the Padres Foundation donated $30,000 to the local community this holiday season.
$10,000 to the San Diego Police Foundation in support of its mission to raise awareness for the important unbudgeted needs of the San Diego Police Department. (Presented by executive chairman Ron Fowler.)
$10,000 to Barrio Logan College Institute in support of its programs that ensure local youth not only have the opportunity to attend a four-year college, but also that they graduate. (Presented by San Diego president and CEO Tom Garfinkel and Quentin.)
$5,000 to United Through Reading, which works to unite military families facing physical separation by facilitating bonding through the read aloud experience.
$5,000 in support of junior enlisted service members and their families stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.