Friday, November 9, 2012


In the days after 9/11, the Yankees came out with a sweatshirt and t-shirt design that featured the red, white and blue interlocking NY with the words “Stand Tall” beneath. I have been wearing mine a lot in the past few days, still in pristine condition. My very favorite piece of Yankee apparel ever. The words have as much meaning in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as they did following the terrible losses that September more than 11 years ago.

If there has been anyone who has embodied those words in the days after this devastating superstorm, it has been Yankee Special Advisor for Community Outreach, Ray Negron. My first phone call from Ray came quite literally at the height of the storm. He was with his family in Suffolk County and without power. His first question was about my own family. Then, he asked me what we could do for others.

It wasn’t a long call—he was worried about his cell phone dying—but I knew then that Ray was already at work. I could literally hear those wheels spinning. I am honored to say that I knew Ray before George Steinbrenner caught him tagging the stadium, and I am proud to call him my unofficial brother. I am also proud to be on his team.
On the dedication page for Yankee Miracles, he names me for helping him change the world. Most of you know me as Persiphone Hellecat, but to Ray, I am just Deni La Marr.

We have talked many times in the days since the storm at great length. We have discussed many different ways that we can help. The kids from his baseball team Hank’s Yanks spent a large part of the weekend visiting shelters, soup kitchens and food banks. Both mine and Ray’s Facebook pages are filled with every piece of information that we have heard. Both of our phone lines have been burning up as we have reached out to others.
Ray has spent many a day sitting here telling me stories about The Boss. Over and over, he has repeated the words of Mr. Steinbrenner regarding helping others. “Ray,” he often said, “if more than two people know what you are doing, that’s too many.”

However, there are times when you have to put those words aside and let the whole world know what you are doing to help. In the wake of this terrible storm, this is one such time. Many people need to band together to help the thousands in need. In short, Ray believed that another Yankee Miracle was in order.

(In Photo: Chazz Palminteri)
After speaking to some of his special friends, three of them have come forward to help make a dream come true. José Feliciano, Raúl Ibañez and Chazz Palminteri have reached out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and are helping Ray to plan and produce a benefit concert to raise much needed funds. Each of them will be appearing at the benefit, and several additional acts will be announced in the days to come.

The concert will be held at CW Post College at the Tilles Center on November 29th at 7:30pm. Ray will be there hosting as well as signing copies of Yankee Miracles. All proceeds from sales of the book will go to the American Red Cross. Other charities will benefit from the concert as well.

Please follow Ray on Facebook HERE or on Twitter @YankeeMiracles for new information as it becomes available.

(In Photo: Reggie Jackson with Ray Negron)
Whenever Ray would tell The Boss that he saved him from the streets, The Boss would say “No, Ray, your story was already written that day when I caught you.” This is just another part of that story. Help Ray Negron reach out to the community and create some new Yankee Miracles. Save the date and join him at the Tilles Center for a night of music, love and miracles.

-- Persiphone Hellecat, Guest BYB Writer

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