The City of Poway is one step closer to immortalizing the memory of baseball player Tony Gwynn after holding a benefit concert to jumpstart fundraising efforts for the Tony Gwynn memorial.
People packed the Poway Center for the Performing Arts Friday for the fundraiser, rocking out to music and listening to former Padres' pitcher Trevor Hoffman and other San Diego athletes share stories about Gwynn.
Residents raised $90,724 to build a statue honoring Gwynn. The beloved former Padres player died in June 2014 after battling cancer and called Poway home.
"Poway is like a safe haven for him. When he came home to Poway, he didn't have to worry about anything. It's so nice they honored him with a statue here because it kind of tops off everything to keep his legacy going on," said Alycia Gwynn, his wife.
The celebration honoring Poway’s hometown hero included a live auction featuring unique Gwynn memorabilia as well as an opportunity to be recognized on the memorial’s donor wall. Gwynn’s former Padres teammates Hoffman and Mark Grant plan to share memories of the hometown slugger and former Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman also attended.
"There's going to be some facts there about Tony, the man, what he did in the community. It's not just the ball player, its' what he represented as a human being. He blessed this community and were' going to bless him right back," said Poway Mayor Steve Vaus.
Vaus says Tony Gwynn's statue should be in place hopefully by this fall.
Donations may also be made by clicking here. All proceeds directly fund the Tony Gwynn memorial.