By Jeremy Schneider, The Toledo Blade, July 18, 2018
TOLEDO, Ohio – Tom Rich had practiced every day for weeks leading up to singing the National Anthem at Tuesday’s Toledo Mud Hens baseball game, so he was plenty prepared.
But just in case nerves crept up as Mr. Rich took his place behind home plate just before noon, he had two of the most important things in his life close by — his rosary in his pocket, and his fiancee, Jennah Welch, watching from the warning track.
This wasn’t just another singer belting out the well-known lyrics before a baseball game, though. Mr. Rich and Miss Welch both have cerebral palsy; Mr. Rich is a resident at the Anne Grady Center in Toledo, and Miss Welch is a resident at Sunshine Communities in Maumee, Ohio.
“People in wheelchairs, they have a purpose,” Mr. Rich said.