DAVENPORT, Iowa — All over our area, there are people who are not just doing good - but "Multiplying Good."
Every year, we honor them with the Jefferson Awards - a nationwide foundation that celebrates amazing acts of public service. 2022 is WQAD News 8's 8th season of being a Jefferson Awards Media Partner, sponsored locally by Genesis Health System and Tyson Foods.
From Feb. 1 through March 22, News 8's Angie Sharp is introducing you to this year's nominees. To see all of our Jefferson Awards Nominees, past and present, click here.
2022 Jefferson Awards: Gary Thrapp
When Gary Thrapp and his wife were looking for a place for their kids to practice batting and shooting hoops, they discovered an opportunity to help their own young athletes — and thousands more in the Quad Cities.
Since 2006, Beyond the Baseline in Davenport, Iowa has been the home to practices, tournaments, games, classes, leagues and life-changing learning moments.
"We're trying to go 'Beyond the Baseline' for our community and we expect our kids to go 'Beyond the Baseline' when they're trying to learn about sports," Thrapp explained. "We want to support our kids."
"There's so many different skills of life that you can teach within just watching a game and helping your child learn how to catch or throw or spike," he continued. "There are so many opportunities to teach skills of life and that's what we try to help encourage."
It goes even beyond that, though. Through this recreation and community center, the Thrapps have a window into the needs of our youth and families.
"What we've found here is that things happening outside of our walls, so often play out here in youth sports, watching our kids compete," he said. "So not only good things, but bad things that people are experiencing - whether it's their job, whether it's out on the streets, whether it's in relationships. So often those things are exposed when they're watching their children compete and work hard and so often our purpose is to try to come together and understand people come with different situations and we just try to help make it work."
"Not only will our similarities be noticeable here, but differences get exposed so quickly," he continued. "The last couple years has been very, very challenging and what I've tried to bring is just some consistency and stability to our community that will help people still head in a good direction."
Thrapp says the needs and direction of Beyond the Baseline will always change, but one thing's for sure - they'll always be there as "the place to be." He is "Multiplying Good" through his selfless acts of public service - which is why WQAD is honored to recognize him as one of our 2022 Jefferson Awards Nominees.
To see her entire interview with News 8's Angie Sharp, watch the video below.
Watch more nominee profiles on News 8's YouTube channel