HomeMoorestown News‘An energy you wanted to be around’

‘An energy you wanted to be around’

Phillies’ night supports scholarship named for late student

Special to The Sun: Moorestown’s Quaker Night at the Phillies supports the Evan Welch Scholarship Fund, which honors the memory of a Moorestown student killed by a drunk driver.

Moorestown’s Quaker Night at the Phillies will be held on Friday, June 9, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to honor the memory of “a quiet man with a big personality.”

Proceeds from ticket sales for the 7:05 p.m. game support the scholarship fund named for Evan Welch, who was killed by a drunk driver in 2007. It is awarded annually to a Moorestown High School (MHS) senior.

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Eileen Fitzpatrick, Welch’s sister, explained how back in 2009, retired teacher Gary Ross, a few of the high school’s staff members and some residents wanted to start raising money for the scholarship fund. Through a connection with the Phillies, the event took off, and Fitzpatrick has been running it ever since Ross retired.

The scholarship recipients – one or two are selected – receive their award at the end of the year, and Fitzpatrick described the moment as one that’s special.

“Most often, whoever receives the scholarship usually writes a note,” she said, “and I’ll receive it here at the high school (where Fitzpatrick is a math teacher). And I share that with my family, with my parents.”

“It’s just nice to know that they appreciate the award that they’re receiving, but also that they learn a little bit about Evan and who Evan was.”

Fitzpatrick described Welch as someone who was quiet, but had a big personality. He was involved in sports at the high school, including lacrosse and swimming. Over the years, her brother’s friends and former classmates have stayed in touch with Fitzpatrick and her family, and continue to attend the event at Citizens Bank Park.

Special to The Sun: “He would enter the room, and you knew you were going to have a good time if Evan was there,” Welch’s sister, Eileen Fitzpatrick, said of her brother.

“It’s really special to still have that connection with many of his friends who have moved on in life and may not be local, but still make sure to send a note to myself and my family just letting us know that they still think of Evan,” Fitzpatrick noted.  “And that’s just really kind of them.”

Welch brought joy to everyone in his life, and he always knew how to make people laugh and smile.

“He would enter the room, and you knew you were going to have a good time if Evan was there,” Fitzpatrick recalled. “He was just an energy that you wanted to be around.”

A favorite memory of Fitzpatrick’s was in 2019, when a video of Tommy Londres, the high-school’s then senior class president, was played on the big screen at Citizens Bank Park before the game, a video that highlighted Moorestown High’s activities that year.

“I also was able to select someone to throw out the first pitch, so I put all the names of Evan’s nieces and nephews in a hat, and I had one of my kids select a name,” Fitzpatrick remembered. “And my son was the name selected out of the hat.

“He was able to throw the first pitch at that game, which was really exciting.”

Fitzpatrick not only enjoys seeing her extended family at every game, but also appreciates seeing Welch’s loved ones come together in his memory.

“This is our one way every year – although obviously Evan is always on our minds and hearts and we, as a family, get together and celebrate him on his birthday and … celebrate him on the day he passed away – this is our one time to just get together and honor him as a family and as a community.”

To purchase tickets for Quaker Night at the Phillies, contact Fitzpatrick at efitzpatrick@mtps.us.


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