CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Shawn Howell of Chesapeake is passionate about baseball and coaching. You'll find him on the ball field on a regular basis--all while holding down a full-time job and juggling the duties of fatherhood, which is why his wife Heather nominated him for a News 3 People Taking Action award.
When we showed up at one of his practices, he had no idea what was going on---I explained to him that his wife sent me an email. She read a portion of the nomination letter. "Shawn Howell pours his heart and soul into building up the youth in our community. But he isn't just coaching these teams with a focus on physical development and winning. What drives him to do this day after day, is the desire to build character and sportsmanship."
He does this year after year---volunteering in the spring, summer and fall. Eight-year-old Easton Deike says they're learning more than just baseball, "Umm to treat my friends good."
Matt DeRaps, who has a son on the team says the kids are learning important lessons, "He teaches the kids respect; he teaches them how to honor one another."
Howell's wife Heather added in the letter, "He has taken children with disabilities and taught them the game of baseball, and in turn, has taught their teammates the meaning of friendship, loyalty, and humility."
He doesn't just coach baseball. He's coached soccer and in the winter he's coaching basketball---all with the same emphasis on building character.
For those reasons, we presented Shawn with a News 3 People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.
So why does Shawn do all of this with such a demanding schedule? "Stock answer is for the kids, but that's really what it's for, the kids. I like seeing them grow character, see them make plays, the smile on their face when we worked hard on something. It's about giving back. I had a lot of good coaches growing up--- they spent their time with me; I feel like it's time to give back."