NEWTON, Mass. — Few have given more time and money to their community or worthy causes, especially those which help children, than Troy Peasley of Rockland.

Thus, it is fitting, perhaps, on the weekend David Ortiz is enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., to visit Peasley’s interaction with “Big Papi” during a charity event in May.

Over the years, Peasley has attended a number of Boston charity events and met a bundle of professional athletes, including Curt Schilling and Tom Brady, to name two, but, due to a variety of reasons, most notably the pandemic, it had been five years since Peasley was able to attend such an event.

That changed as Peasley attended the David Ortiz Boston Heart Classic Garden Party on May 23.

Troy Peasley, left, and Tuuka Rask, former Boston Bruins goalie. Photo courtesy of Troy Peasley

Andrew and Jessica Nigrelli hosted the third annual David Ortiz Boston Heart Classic at the Brae Burn Country Club.

More than $500,000 was raised to benefit low-income children with congenital heart defects receive critical cardiac services, Peasley said.

The Nigrellis have two young daughters who were born with congenital heart defects.

David Ortiz, left, with Andrew and Jessica Nigrelli, and their daughters, who were born with congenital heart defects. Photo courtesy of Troy Peasley

Peasley attended the garden party dinner auction following the golf tournament. Ortiz’s friends Adam Jones, Tuukka Rask, Tom Caron, Jim Rice, Jim Lonborg, Loni Paxton and others also attended the event.

Peasley said there was a closest-to-the-pin helicopter golf ball drop for $20 per ball. Along with excellent food and drinks from Boston chefs, “Papi”-brand cigars hand-rolled everyone free cigars., Peasley said. There was a live band, magician and comedian.

David Ortiz, right, with sponsors and an original Justyn Farano painting signed by the Red Sox great. Photo courtesy of Troy Peasley

Several auction items went for more than $5,000 to $10,000, including autographed paintings, replica of the 2004 World Series trophy, a lucky person being able to attend a Red Sox game with Ortiz and throwing out the first pitch, and a meet-and-greet with New Kids on the Block. Autographed Ortiz Red Sox jerseys were sold for $2,500.

“Ortiz was very nice and made a point to meet and thank everyone, shake hands, pose for photos and sign autographs,” Peasley said. “Every dollar raised went directly to charity.”

The helicopter golf ball drop. Photo courtesy of Troy Peasley

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