Thank you for doing a story on the very deserving Curt Gilbert and Harold’s Plumbing (“Piped into youth, family, community,” Nov. 2, Auburn Reporter). I had the honor and privilege of coaching a Harold’s Plumbing-sponsored, Auburn Rec League fastpitch team the last three summers, with the more-than-able assistance of Curt’s daughter, Carmin Sawyer.
I recall that first summer of 2016, as the season wound its way to conclusion, I mentioned to Carmin my plan to get pizza for the girls after our last game for the trophy ceremony. Carmin said, “No, my dad’s going to do that.” I told her I thought that Curt had done enough, sponsoring the team, and I would be fine taking care of this. She said something like “you don’t understand, he’ll be upset if you don’t let him do this. It’s what he does, and he loves it.”
I wisely took her advice and let Curt do it. At the time, I didn’t know Curt much and didn’t really know his history, or what he was about. I subsequently learned, however, what a generous spirit he has.
I recall that Curt was at nearly every game for three summers in a row, just like his inspiration, Louie, from his youth. He even stepped in to help me coach when Carmin was out of town. As Curt proudly wore the Louie’s Shell jersey in his youth, I too proudly wear my Harold’s Plumbing jersey still.
Curt, on behalf of me, my daughter Ava, and from the bottom of the hearts of the thousands of kids you’ve helped over the last 30 years, thank you for everything you’ve done. It’s not just the money. Lots of people write checks. Writing the check, and then taking the time to actually be there, with and for the kids, is something special indeed.
As I told you this summer, in front of our team and parents at our final pizza party/trophy ceremony, it’s you, and others like you (few as they may be) that make me proud to call Auburn my home.
– Rob and Linda Lewis