Jamie Moyer began a journey of reflection and self-discovery after establishing himself as a Major League Baseball (MLB) player in the late 1980s that led him to a life of philanthropy and charitable giving.

“I was like, ‘I’m pretty fortunate. I’ve had some pretty good opportunities, I’ve been able to travel to some wonderful places, I’ve been able to play with a lot of wonderful people and for some wonderful organizations,’” Moyer said. “And through all of that, you see there’s a lot of ups in life and there’s a lot of downs in life, and there’s a lot of people that are in some unfortunate situations. As an athlete, whether you want it to or not, you’re on a platform. (I realized that) you can bring light to some of those things when you’re on that platform.”

Moyer worked with many charities and started a nonprofit organization of his own during his 25-year playing career. He is continuing his humanitarian efforts in retirement, which he is enjoying in east Clark County.

Moyer, a Washougal resident and former Seattle Mariners pitcher, served as the centerpiece of the Camas-Washougal Community Chest’s “Pitching In For a Cause” event, held on Monday, March 25, at the Washougal Times.

The nonprofit organization invited community members to watch the Mariners’ spring training game against the San Diego Padres with Moyer, who answered questions, posed for photographs and signed memorabilia; and held an online auction that awarded several Moyer-themed prizes, including two signed jerseys, a signed baseball, and dinner with the former MLB pitcher at the Washougal Times at a later date.

The Community Chest will use a portion of the money raised from autograph and photograph fees, the auction, and Washougal Times sales during Moyer’s appearance to fund its 2024 grants to local nonprofit organizations.

“The Community Chest is all about doing things in the community and supporting the community, and that’s what tonight’s (event) is all about,” Moyer said. “It’s a local organization that supports a lot of good causes, so many (that) I don’t have them all memorized. I like the grassroots organizations because a lot of them get overlooked.”

Moyer connected with the Community Chest in 2023 thanks to his neighbor, Joelle Scheldorf, a board member for the nonprofit organization.

“After (he and his wife) moved in, we went to dinner at 54-40 Brewing Company, and I mentioned that we had the Outlaw Festival coming up and that we would do an online auction,” Scheldorf said. “He asked me, ‘Do you need anything?’, and donated a few shirts. He also said, ‘If you need anything else, you can just ask.’

“(Earlier this year), I started thinking of how to tie events into different venues. It’s hard for small businesses to donate, but if we do an event together, we can draw some people in. It’s a win-win for both of us. The Washougal Times gets (a crowd) on a Monday night and we get donations. I just asked Jamie, ‘Would you be willing to do this?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, look for a spring training game that’s in the evening,’ and that’s what I did.”

Scheldorf said that the event was “a dream come true.”

“I’m not a big baseball fan, and I didn’t know who he was when I met him. People would say, ‘Is that the Jamie Moyer?’ and I would be like, ‘It’s a Jamie Moyer. I don’t know if it’s the Jamie Moyer,’” she said. “But he’s so laid back. If people approach him, he’s more than happy to talk about baseball. People also mentioned to me that he’s a very giving person and that he’s been involved with a lot of charities. I thought that if he’s going to become a part of our local community, let’s bring him in.”

Moyer pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Mariners, Philadelphia Phillies and Colorado Rockies from 1986 to 2010, posting a 269-209 record, a 4.25 earned-run average and 2,441 strikeouts. He was selected to the American League All-Star team in 2003 and was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame in 201.

He also received numerous awards for philanthropy and community service, including the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the MLB player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media, in 2003.

“To me, it was kind of fun to bring teammates together and do fun things,” Moyer said. “(One year) we had a bowling tournament, where people could actually come out and bowl with the players. Things like that were a lot of fun. You’re having fun, but you’re also raising money. I had access to my teammates, so (I was able to ask them) to sign a ball or a bat to auction off.”

Moyer and his wife Karen founded The Moyer Foundation (now Eluna) in 2000 to provide comfort, hope and healing to children and families affected by grief and addiction. It partners with hospices, bereavement organizations and accredited mental-health organizations to offer two flagship camps free of charge: Camp Erin and Camp Mariposa, formed in 2007 to help children ages 9 to 12 whose families are struggling with addiction. Camp Erin has 31 sites nationwide and in Canada, and Camp Mariposa has 19 locations.

“I kind of look at life like this — we all either have time, talent, or treasure. Some have one, some have two, some have all three,” he said. “It’s an individual decision (to give or not), and you shouldn’t be forced into it or pushed into it. If you choose to use one of those things or all of those things, I think it’s awesome. To me, it’s about giving back and doing the right thing in the community.”

Moyer said that he would be open to working with the Community Chest again in the future, either by expanding the auction fundraiser, creating another event — “I’d love to do something outside in the summertime,” he said — or both.

“I want to be respectful to what their needs are and what they’re doing. They have their board, and it’s a huge organization. This kind of stuff takes effort, and it takes time, and these people have jobs and things like that,” he said. “(I want to take) baby steps, but one step at a time and try to grow things in a healthy way.”

Scheldorf said that she would like for the partnership to continue as well.

“He’s just incredibly curious,” she said. “He wants to be involved. He’s telling me (things that I didn’t know) about my town, and I’ve lived here for 21 years. He goes and talks to people. He likes to meet people, and I’m not sure they always know who he is. He’s just (Jamie).”

Moyer said that he purchased property in Washougal in 2020 and appreciates the town’s “laid-back lifestyle” that reminds him of his hometown of Souderton, Pennsylvania.

“I kind of grew up with this way of life,” he said. “I don’t know a lot of people here, but I’ve met a lot of people, and it’s very friendly here. Also, you’re close to the (Portland) airport, you’ve got another state right across the water, and Seattle’s three hours away, so I can get where I need to go, but also hunker down.”