It’s been 10 years since my brother Andrew passed away. It will be 11 years in September. This year is extra special for me because this week I will mark my 24th birthday. Twenty-four is my favorite number. It was my dad’s baseball number, it was Andrew’s baseball number and Andrew was born on the 24th of June in 1990. I’m feeling pretty aching at this moment; spring was my brother’s favorite season and I always have pictured my brother making it far in his baseball career. The ache never goes way, but the grace of God it makes it much easier to handle this.

My family and I are excited about this year’s Andrew Rotruck Memorial Scholarship Cash Bingo, which begins at 2 p.m. April 14 at the Shepherdstown Fire Hall. We have been working really hard to get set up. We have numerous businesses around the whole tri-state area donating things, even places outside of the tri-state area.

This time of year is my favorite because our families, friends and community come together for an amazing cause. In February, we lost my grandma to cancer. This scholarship in memory of my brother was her idea. So this season is super tough because it really has me thinking about her and him. I do know that they are together watching down on us and simply happy that we are continuing this legacy.

Every year we hand out the scholarship to a Jefferson High School baseball player going off to college to play baseball just like Andrew was doing. My prayer overall to the ones that apply for this scholarship is to continue Andrew’s legacy all four years of college by playing baseball and have good academics. If we don’t  have any recipients for the scholarship, we give a donation to the Andrew Rotruck Memorial Training Facility. There is so much history and so many memories in that batting cage.

Other favorite memories of my “Bub” include going to church and watching him play baseball. There was nothing more amazing than watching your big brother on the field. He didn’t care who was watching or what others thought – his heart was fully into the game, always. I always shouted from the bleachers, cheering for him.

I remember every beach trip we went on. Growing up we always went to Philadelphia to watch the Phillies play for the whole weekend. It was always a great time with Andrew and our parents.

My brother was a well-known individual not only in the county but in the tri-state area. He was a social butterfly, loved meeting new people and simply loved serving in the community. He is the main reason why I am so strong. I remember those last words he told me before he passed, “I love you, Bre.” That always has a special place in my heart.

My brother had this quote on his Myspace: “Help me to believe in what I could be and all that I am. Show me the stairway that I have to climb. Lord for my sake teach me to take one day at a time.” He had full faith in the Lord no matter what he went through.

My family and I can’t wait to see everyone at the bingo! Thank you so much to my family, friends and community for being so hardworking on this yearly fundraiser. I’m blessed and honored to do life with each one of you.

— Brean Rotruck writes from Summit Point

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