Dr. Tim Jacobbe and Elizabeth Jacobbe: Spirit of Gainesville nominees

Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 2:30 p.m.

Caleb’s Pitch is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating memorable experiences and enhancing the quality of life for children and families confronting serious childhood illnesses. Caleb’s Pitch aims to share the story of Caleb Jacobbe as an inspiration to others. They do syringe art at Shands every two weeks and family trivia nights once a month. This results in approximately 40 patient visits per month and a total of 960 visits over the organization’s existence. In addition, over 150 families have been part of family nights. Caleb’s Pitch recently expanded to Missouri as well and provides support for 15 patients each month there.


Category: Community Service

About Dr. Tim Jacobbe and Elizabeth Jacobbe

Occupation: Professor at UF

Years in Gainesville: 4

Children: Hannah and Nathan

Dr. Tim Jacobbe and Elizabeth Jacobbe arrived in Gainesville in 2008. They founded Caleb’s Pitch in 2009 after their young daughter told her kindergarten class she wanted to help sick kids in the hospital. She visited her cousin Caleb several times in the hospital before his untimely death. The Jacobbes are keeping Caleb’s memory alive and providing a platform for the community to help those most vulnerable in Gainesville (and in other communities which also sponsor Caleb’s Pitch activities).

Dr. Jacobbe is actively involved in the Department of Education at UF, and Elizabeth Jacobbe is involved with Kiwanis and is the director of Kids Count, an after-school program that supports at-risk youth. The Jacobbes volunteer over 80 hours a month, have built a strong network of dozens of volunteers who also give their time freely. They work with the university athletic association to organize athlete visits for sick children as part of the Caleb’s Pitch commitment to bettering the lives of sick children in our town.

Gina Rivera is the Volunteer Coordinator and Family Fun Night Coordinator. She writes, “The fact that they give so much of their own time to dedicate to others in worse situations, makes them heroes in my book. Through Syringe Art at Shands and the Family Fun Nights, hundreds of families have been given a moment of happiness and light in such cloudy circumstances.”

Ben Doerr, treasurer of Caleb’s Pitch has this to say about Tim and Elizabeth Jacobbe: “Humble and gracious; tender-hearted and kind; dedicated and passionate…these are the words that come to mind when I think of Tim and Elizabeth Jacobbe. As founding organizers, Tim and Elizabeth have supplied all of these outstanding qualities to the heart, mission and success of Caleb’s Pitch. While very busy in their full time jobs and as devoted parents, I am especially amazed by their loyalty and level of generosity in distinguished leadership to the organization and also acting as its most passionate volunteers.”

One of the Child Life Specialists at Shands, Marilyn Close-Battoe, adds, “Caleb’s Pitch …bring the warmth and positive energy to engage children, youth, and young adults in activities that help reduce that stress and redirect the focus from illness and disability to enjoying the moment. We all truly appreciate Caleb’s Pitch, and look forward as they continue to make a difference here at Shands Hospital for Children at UF.”

I am nominating the Jacobbes today because my daughter was in Hannah Jacobbe’s kindergarten class. She was so moved by Hannah's desire to help that she asked how our family could help others as well. That was the day I decided to volunteer myself. The Jacobbe’s passion is contagious and truly embodies the Spirit of Gainesville.

Submitted by Jayne Moraski

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