DeSoto County’s hometown hero Austin Riley will be coming to Silo Square next Tuesday to sign autographs to benefit the Buy a Tree, Change a Life fundraiser for Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center.
Silo Square spokesperson Lexie Hill said the Atlanta Braves star third baseman, who was a standout at DeSoto Central High School in Southaven and recently won a World Series trophy, will be at Silo Square Nov. 23 from 5-7 p.m.
“We are so excited to have him,” Hill said. “He will be helping us sell Christmas trees and signing personalized autographs and baseball and posing for pictures for donations.”
Fans will be able to get personalized baseballs signed for a minimum donation of $100 and donations and pictures with Riley for a suggested donation.
“You can come by and get a selfie or a baseball for a child,” Hill said. “It would be a great Christmas present.”
Hill said Riley recently toured the Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center and wanted to help support the Buy a Tree, Change a Life cause.
“He was there last week and learned about what they do and how they are involved in the community,” Hill said. “He was all about helping and supporting them. He had no idea - as did many of us, including myself - the needs that even the Southaven community has for their services. So he is excited and we are really excited to have him partner with us on this.”
The 24-year old Riley finished seventh in MVP voting this week and had the best season of his three year Major League Baseball career, batting .303 with 33 home runs and 107 RBIs and helping Atlanta win its first World Series title since 1995.
Christmas trees are available through Dec. 12 in all sizes and prices inside a tent near the Silo Square clock tower. All proceeds help children in the Mid-South as well as children across the world in impoverished areas. Half of the money will go to orphanages and the other half to help support Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center, a Southaven non-profit organization that provides services to foster children and victims of child abuse in DeSoto and Tate County. The money spent on trees will provide children with counseling services, clothing, education, care, mentoring, food, housing and more.
Buy a Tree, Change a Life is hoping to raise $150,000 to $200,000 from the Silo Square site. Buy a Tree, Change a Life has raised almost $4 million since it began.