The initial fundraising goal for Jana’s House, a home for orphaned girls in Zambia, has been met, the Round Rock Express announced Thursday.
The Express and Ryan Sanders Baseball had a goal of $250,000 that included construction of the home, which will be at the Family Legacy Mission’s Tree of Life Children’s Village. It is being built in honor of Jana Almendarez, the late wife of Express President Chris Almendarez. Jana passed away May 14, 2016 after an 11-month battle with Stage IV Glioblastoma.
Fundraising began in July, and the final $18,000 was raised in the last month when Wag-A-Bag partnered with Brown Distributing for a donation drive at Wag-A-Bag locations, the Express said. The team added “fundraising efforts for Jana’s House will continue as there is a yearly endowment for the house upkeep and maintenance.”
Chris Almendarez, Express founder Reid Ryan, CEO Reese Ryan and General Manager Tim Jackson will travel with their families to Zambia in December to dedicate the house.
The Almendarez family has been part of the Family Legacy Mission for the past three years, with Express President Chris Almendarez and his son Chase hosting a baseball camp for orphaned boys in 2013. The whole family also visited in 2014. The team has sent coaches from their youth baseball camps to Zambia for the past three years to teach baseball to more than 300 children.