YOUNGSTOWN — The Rotary Club of Youngstown today donated $10,000 for the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue.
“This generous donation from Rotary brings us another step closer to making the Robinson-Shuba statue in downtown Youngstown a reality,” Greg Gulas, a co-chair of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue Committee, said in a news release. “We’re excited that this memorial to racial equality continues to draw support from so many individuals and organizations throughout the Mahoning Valley.”
The Rotary Club of Youngstown supports local community service projects through funds raised by its members.
“As an international service organization, Rotary works to garner peace and equality among all people, and in our community this statue will help advance those goals,” Samantha Turner, Rotary Club of Youngstown president, said. “The statue will serve as a constant reminder that change is possible if we only open our minds, hearts and hands.”
The bronze statue will portray the 1946 handshake at home plate between Jackie Robinson, the first Black player allowed to compete in mainstream professional baseball, and his white teammate from Youngstown, George Shuba.
Shuba stepped up from the on-deck circle to shake Robinson’s hand after two other teammates who scored on Robinson’s three-run homer in his debut game didn’t wait at home to greet the future Hall of Famer.
“In this time of racial strife in our country, the Robinson-Shuba statue will celebrate racial equality and the great things that can happen when people of different races can work together,” Ernie Brown, a co-chair of the statue committee, said. “We appreciate the Youngstown Rotary’s support of the values this statue will memorialize.”