VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Last October, Virginia Beach native Chris Taylor helped his Los Angeles Dodgers win a title. Therefore, his new title is World Series champion Chris Taylor.
"That's every kid's dream growing up playing the game," Taylor said of winning the 2020 Major League Baseball World Series. "You want to be a World Series champion."
Taylor, the Frank W. Cox High School and University of Virginia product, is now in spring training and working to repeat as a World Series champion. It would be a sequel to his childhood dream. However, before the 2021 MLB season starts, a childhood friend is the focus of Taylor's time and energy.
"I have a group of five or six close friends, all the way through college - we've always been best friends," Taylor explained to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "We keep in touch, go on trips. Kyle is one of my best friends. A year and a half ago, he lost his fight with osteosarcoma."
Taylor says Kyle Profilet, a former classmate and teammate of his - who battled cancer for two years, is a driving force behind the inaugural Home Run for Hope, a virtual, one night only music event to benefit the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters and Roc Solid Foundation - two local beneficiaries. Chris has also befriended a local 12-year-old named Dalton Fox who is waging his own war against Ewing Sarcoma and dealing with many of the same hardships Kyle endured.
"It just felt like, the platform I have - it was important to do something," Taylor admitted. "With everything going on right now with COVID, you really can't get a night out."
The online event will take place on Friday, March 26 from 8 to 10 p.m. EST and will feature intimate performances by Brad Paisley, Jake Owen, Scotty McCreery, Shy Carter, Tiera, Alexander Ludwig and D. Vincent Williams, plus special guests and a surprise chart-topping artist to close the show. There will also be a variety of giveaways and silent auction items, including autographed sports memorabilia. A donation of $40 at HomeRunforHope.com will be your ticket to the event, and 100% percent of proceeds will benefit charity.
"Virginia Beach will always be my home," Taylor noted. "It was important for me to start where I grew up. I'm excited about those two groups, and that we're going to be able to help them. Two awesome local forces in the area."
His new title might be World Series champion Chris Taylor, but he will always be Virginia Beach native Chris Taylor.
About Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD)
Over the past 60 years, CHKD has grown into a 206-bed teaching hospital that is the heart of an extensive pediatric healthcare system. Every day, dozens of children are admitted to the hospital and thousands more are cared for at CHKD primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, urgent care centers, specialty clinics, and multi-service health centers throughout the region. The Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at CHKD is the area’s top referral center for pediatric cancer, sickle cell disease, and blood disorders and follows more than 500 pediatric cancer patients each year. CHKD is a nonprofit organization whose services and programs address pressing public health needs that would otherwise go unmet. The generosity of donors allows CHKD to provide care to any child who needs them, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
About Roc Solid Foundation
Roc Solid Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that builds hope for kids fighting cancer. Founded by pediatric cancer survivor Eric Newman, the organization is best known for giving Ready Bags to families when their child is first diagnosed, as well as providing backyard playsets to kids during treatment. Roc Solid is based in Virginia but is growing both programs nationwide with the vision to build hope for every child diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. This year, Roc Solid will distribute 2,000 Ready Bags and nearly 500 playsets.