Evelyn Ross always remembers her mother’s home as the big white house on California Street in Bryan, when the abode was in its prime.
Thanks to a morning of sweat and elbow grease from the Texas A&M baseball team, the white walls of Cordia Hanks’ house will again shine like they do in her daughter’s memories.
For 14 years, Aggie baseball has kicked off the school year with a “Paint-a-Thon” community service project, which tasks players and coaches with renovating the exterior of a house in the Bryan-College Station community.
An arsenal of about 44 players and 20 support staff wield paint brushes, lawn tools and landscaping materials in an effort to spruce up a home and give back to the community that supports the program. Head coach Rob Childress works with local charity organizations to find a home that fits the skillsets of his players.
“To have everybody out here breaking a sweat and making an impact and just trying to help, whether it’s a paint brush or a scraper or putting a lawn mower in your hands, it’s fun to watch these guys work,” he said.
Hanks, who has owned the house since 1977, and her family mixed and mingled with the players and coaches as they added a fresh coat of paint, put in two new flowerbeds and pulled up brush and small trees on the property.
“I thought this was real stand up of them, because they didn’t have to do it,” Ross said. “We are very grateful that they are doing, it and it just shows a lot of character on their behalf.”
Piles of potting soil, paint cans and other supplies filled the front yards, all of which are purchased with excess donations from the Diamond Club, the team’s booster organization. Childress said they make sure to set aside enough to do a quality service job every fall, ranging from $6,000 to $10,000.
Each year, the Paint-a-Thon brings the Aggie baseball program together before a single ball has been thrown in preparation for the upcoming season. It’s the first chance for returning players to get to know the next generation of Olsen’s finest.
Plenty of laughs are exchanged between teammates and coaches as the team begins to come together for the marathon ahead.
“It’s great that it’s something other than baseball,” starting pitcher Asa Lacy said. “It’s another great way to bond. It’s great to get to know all the new guys and create that trust.”
Aggie baseball teams of the past have made plenty of lasting marks in Blue Bell Park. However, as Childress drives around his local community and sees projects of previous years, he is reminded of the good works that each of those groups of young men have done.
“Miss Cordia Hanks’ house here today is our 14th house that we’ve done and when you say that, it kind of takes your breath away that you’re able to do that many homes for the last so many years and try to make an impact in somebody else’s life,” Childress said. “That’s one thing we really want to drive home to our players.”