Duffy played baseball at Mississippi State from 2006-2010. A fan favorite during his five years at State, Duffy suffered a life-altering injury while vacationing in Key West, Florida, last August. Duffy broke his neck in multiple places, causing paralysis below the neck and ventilator-assisted breathing. After an initial stay in an Intensive Care Unit in Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Duffy was transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Ga., for extensive rehabilitation and training. He was released in December to begin the long journey of continued rehabilitation and further healing at home.
The 5k walk/run and silent auction are the latest events that are being hosted by MSU fans and friends of Ryan to help he and his family with their medical expenses.
For those walkers and runners among Bulldog fans, the "Do It For Duffy" 5k walk/run will begin at 8 am in the parking lot of the Palmeiro Center on the campus of Mississippi State. You can pre-register online or register the day of the event.
"People don't have to have their information in by (February 12th), we will take people the day of, but if they register by the 29th they will get a free t-shirt and a registration bag with some goodies in it," said Jennifer Prather of the "Do It For Duffy" committee.
To pre-register or learn more about the 5k, you can visit the DoItForDuffy.org website.
If you aren't able to attend the 5k walk/run, sponsorships are available at the Do It For Duffy website. Click the link to the right to go to the sponsorship portion of the website DoItForDuffy/Events
Later in the day, the "Do it for Duffy" Silent Auction will be held during this year's Mississippi State Baseball First Pitch Banquet, which begins at 4 pm. If you have items you would like to donate for the auction, you can do that by visiting the DoItForDuffy.org website.
There is already a wide variety of memorabilia available for auction.
"We have a very big assortment of sports memorabilia," said Prather. "We have signed autographs from players who are in the pros that may be former players or other former players. We have a Buck Showalter autograph jersey. We have baseball balls that have been autographed by (current Major League baseball players) Marcus Thames, Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt and some others. We also have a 2006 World Series Detroit Tigers autographed ball that has autographs of the entire team. We also have some things that aren't sports-related such as a vacation rental for a week's vacation in Colorado, some jewelry that was handmade in Hong Kong and various other things."
To purchase tickets to the Mississippi State First Pitch event, you can visit the Mississippi State athletic department website at http://www.mstateathletics.com/tickets/.
The featured speaker at the First Pitch Banquet will be former Mississippi State baseball player and current Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, who played baseball at MSU with Duffy.
Contact Jennifer Prather at 662-418-0533 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about 5k sponsorships or more information about the Silent Auction.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.