EDITOR'S NOTE: Fourth in a series
By RICHARD DYMOND
MANATEE -- Tony DeFilippo grew up in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh and rooted for the Pirates in the late '50s and early '60s, including shortstop Richard "Dick" Groat, the legendary Puerto Rican star Roberto Clemente and, of course, Bill Mazeroski, who won the 1960 World Series with a game-ending home run.
DeFilippo and his wife, Georgene, came to Bradenton for the first time in 2010 because of Pirates spring training at McKechnie Field.
Now the 70-year-old Pirates fan, who volunteers nearly 30 hours a week at The Food Bank of Manatee, will be honored Saturday at the minor-league affiliate Bradenton Marauders' Florida State League All-Star game on that very field.
DeFilippo is one of three
All-Star winners in the non-profit volunteers category along with Herb Moller, a mentor with youth groups in Manatee County, and Danny Jones, who, with his wife, Ann Marie, works with youth through their ministry, Bridge a Life.
DeFilippo will receive $500 for winning and $500 for the charity of his choice, which is Food Bank of Manatee.
"In 2010 we decided to come to spring training and came that year and 2011 and 2012, and by the time we got done through those years, we decided this was a pretty good area," DeFilippo said.
After Georgene retired from her position as the coordinator of children's programming for the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh in 2012, the couple got a place at Garden Lakes at State Road 70 and 37th Street East.
"I didn't go to the games that much," DeFilippo said of his youth in Pittsburgh. "I listened to Bob Prince on the radio. But I was definitely a Pirates fan and still am."
After attending Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, DeFilippo became a computer systems analyst for PPG Industries, a job he held for 35 years.
When he retired in 2007, he decided to volunteer for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. It became a key experience in DeFilippo's life.
"I realized there were a lot of people who needed some help," DeFilippo said. "I volunteered at the food bank up there for five years and felt very good helping. I really felt it was worthwhile work that I had done. When we came to Florida, I began to look around for food banks."
DeFilippo started off sorting food, but slowly moved up to other duties.
"I am also able to handle orders so that when agencies come in, I assist them," DeFilippo said. "I have been on the road a couple of times to deliver food to agencies."
DeFilippo also helps weigh food and unload trucks, said Jill McGarry of The Food Bank of Manatee.
"Tony is always willing to help wherever he can," said Blane Turpin, a vice president at The Food Bank of Manatee.
Georgene DeFilippo wasn't surprised that her husband was picked as an All-Star.
"He's very dedicated," she said. "He is very committed to being involved."
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7072 or contact him via Twitter @RichardDymond.