Brawley to name field in memory of Anthony Garcia
At the age of 17, Anthony was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a rare strain of cancer that originates in the glandular tissue. Over the course of the next four months, which were the last of Anthony’s life, the Garcia family experienced an overwhelming outpour of love and support from not only the people of Brawley, but those in El Centro, Calexico, and Imperial.
The first branch assists in arranging the appropriate travel, lodging and meal accommodations for cancer patients seeking treatment outside the Valley.
The second offers collegiate scholarships to local high school students. In its first year, the foundation was only able to do so for Brawley seniors but it has since extended countywide. This year, the goal is to grant scholarships to two students per school.
Finally, the foundation is involved in the organization of youth activities and variously sponsors soccer, volleyball, softball and boxing teams.
AGF president Rusty Garcia, Anthony’s father, has expressed extreme gratitude on behalf of himself and his family.
“We feel very honored that Anthony’s memory hasn’t gone away,” he said, “and will never go away. That sign with his name on it (at Meserve Park) will always be there.”
It is fitting that Anthony should be commemorated in this way, as he was an avid participant on his high school’s football and baseball teams and also engaged in extracurricular boxing.
Garcia reminisced about how, not long ago, he met a mother whose own son had been diagnosed with cancer. She told Garcia of how she’d found encouragement in Anthony’s enduring spirit.
Everything that has been done since Anthony’s death, in Anthony’s name, has been an effort to keep that spirit fresh in people’s minds.
“Anthony’s bravery throughout his diagnosis is the mark of a true champion,” said Garcia. “He was fighting not only for himself, but for Brawley.
“It was incredible, the amount of love and support that we felt then,” he added, “and that’s what we’re still feeling now, a year later.”
Saturday’s ceremony will commence at 1 p.m. at Meserve Park, on the corner of South Second and K streets. It is the AGF’s intention that the field in question will be used in days to come as a softball field. City officials will preside and Brawley Mayor George Nava will throw out the first pitch.