LYNN — You didn’t have to look too far Friday night at Tony’s Pub to see the overwhelming impact English baseball coach Doug Mullins has had on the community.
Friends, family members and even more from the community filled the local bar to capacity to support Mullins, who was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer), at a fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m.
“This should really be at a hall, it’s that big,” Tony Nicosia, who owns the Pub located on Franklin Street, said. “It turned into this huge community event.”
The support for Mullins and his family from the Lynn community has been pouring in since word spread about his battle with cancer. Mullins’ friends, organized by Shane Seaman, helped put together the fundraiser and posted a GoFundMe page that has raised over $32,000 and counting to help with medical expenses for Mullins, 32, who started undergoing radiation this week.
“I’ve been friends with Doug since the first grade,” Seaman said. “Once we heard the news, it was second nature to help him and his family. There wasn’t a hesitation, he’s one of my brothers, I always tell him that. His family’s knows that. It’s the worst thing to ever happen to him.”
The large crowd there helping to support and raise more money for Mullins family was a perfect example of how many lives Doug has impacted, Seaman said.
“It shows how much respect people have for him and how much he has impacted them,” Seaman said. “People want to give that back. There are not a lot of words to say about Doug. He’s just an amazing guy, and he does nothing but give back.”
After hearing about the news, Nicosia had already planned on helping out with a fundraiser before he and Seaman arranged Friday’s event.
“We said why don’t we raffle off a couple things (at Tony’s Pub) and have a local fundraiser and see what we can do,” Nicosia said. “Doug and the English coaching staff and everybody come in here a lot. It turned into Shane getting involved and grew into this huge support.
“The Reddy family donated all the proceeds from their ‘Patrick Reddy Family Fun Day’ last Saturday to Doug earlier today,” Nicosia said. “It started off with that. Matt Reddy won a $500 dollar golf bag there and donated that, a couple of my bartenders donated two and three hundred dollars. We had around $3,000 dollars right there already.”
And that number grew even larger throughout the night with percentages of sales being donated and raffles coming in by the dozens, all donated by the community.
“There was supposed to be three or four things being raffled off originally before word spread,” Nicosia said. “Now there’s maybe 100 raffles in there. This is really turning out to be amazing and that’s Lynn. This is what you get in the Lynn community.”
“We had raffles literally coming in right until the last minute tonight,” Seaman said. “Someone came and donated four Red Sox tickets before it started. So we had a surprise raffle for those. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.”
The support may be overwhelming but it’s nothing Seaman didn’t expect. Mullins is known by his friends as incredibly selfless and they plan to continue supporting him long after Friday’s fundraiser.
“We did expect this support,” Seaman said. “He’s a great guy. We talked about having it at a bigger place, maybe a hall, because we expected so many people. But Tony reached out to us. Tony was generous enough to host us. This is just a start and it’s not going to stop. We’ll be planning and working on more things like this.”