On Feb. 10, David Schwind of Edwardsville and John Schwind of Oklahoma City came to Christopher to present a check for $3,000 to the high school"s athletic program in the name of their uncle, Elvin Schwind.
Their cousin, Mary K. Schwind from Richardson, Texas, was also a part of the donation but was unable to be in Illinois that day.
In 1946, Elvin graduated from Christopher High School. Though the school didn"t have a baseball program, the youngster was a good player, according to teammate Vic Kretz of Christopher. He was a southpaw, hence his nickname, "Lefty," as he was called by those who knew him well.
Lefty played summer ball with his late brother, Ray, and also pitched for a 4H team out of Royalton. Lefty loved baseball and athletics in general. He had a total of 29 nieces and nephews and at times was a little partial to the four nieces from the Schwind side, a trait his nephews understood since the man had nothing but brothers growing up.
One of the nieces was Mary K., a standout softball player. She attended Texas A and M, and her team advanced to the national championship game three out of her four years. She wears her championship ring proudly.
Kretz was at the high school during the presentation of the three checks from Mary, David and John. Also in attendance was Vic"s wife, Jean Kretz. Lefty"s first job after graduation from Ranken Tech in St. Louis was at Jean"s father"s Huie Motor Company in Christopher. Maryjo and James Taylor, lifelong friends of the Schwind family, witnessed the gift to Christopher Athletics as well.
At the presentation, John and David said that 25 percent of the donation will go to the boys baseball program and 25 percent to the girls softball program, both of which are co-op sports with Zeigler-Royalton. The remaining half will be used in the CHS ladies" athletic activities in general.
Cousins David and John Schwind were sure their uncle Lefty, a proud Korean War combat veteran, also would be proud that such a nice gift to kids was made in his name and on this particular day. Elvin Schwind passed away April 4, 2014, and Friday, Feb. 10, would have been Lefty"s 88th birthday.