NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) –The New York Yankees are in day two of HOPE week where players and the community work together to support local programs.
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Keith Pryde, who was being honored as Mentor of the Year, had no idea the Yankees would be presenting him the award.
He just thought the group was throwing a beach party.
Pryde started mentoring 10-year-old Robert, who was just 10-months-old when he lost his father on 9/11, three years ago after losing his sister in the Virginia Tech shootings.
“We’ve spent a lot of time doing video games, hiking, skateboarding, playing basketball, soccer, baseball. You name it, we do it,” said Pryde. “I thought that this would be one of the perfect ways to grieve for my loss. It’s been a blessing ever since. Robert is [a] great part of my life.”
Robert will even be the ring bearer in Keith’s upcoming wedding.
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Curtis Granderson, who lost a family friend in the Virginia Tech shootings, believes HOPE Week is a true reminder of what is important.
“The community is the reason the Yankees are what they are. The mentor and the mentee program – it’s great for people to go ahead and help out the youth,” Granderson said.
Mariano Rivera was among the Yankees at the event. He says he doesn’t look at it as giving back.
“We’re receiving a lot because they teach us so much, you know, not to give up,” said Rivera.
This was the latest event in HOPE Week, an annual effort from the team. HOPE stands for Helping Others Persevere & Excel.