Ashley Daugherty, 12, is the starting pitcher for her club softball team, SLO County Nitro. A love of athletics runs in her family: Her mother played softball for UC San Diego, and her grandmother has played a key role in the Nitro’s success. (The team ended the season winning tournament championships in Salinas and Fremont.)
When the Nitros were struggling to find a place to practice, Ashley’s grandmother, Beverly Mundee, stepped up to the plate and offered to transform a piece of family-owned property in Paso Robles into a softball field for practices and friendly games with rival teams.
But it wasn’t just that generous offer that led Ashley to nominate her grandmother to be a Tribune unsung hero. It was her grandmother’s spirit as well.
We’ll let Ashley explain in her own words:
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“Thanks to my grandma, we now have a brand-new field to practice on, a batting cage, four teams and a great group of amazing people who have become like family to me. She donated all the funds to make it possible. We named our field Gramma Bev’s Field.
“At 82 years old, she has been my hero for fighting and surviving bladder and breast cancer, along with her hip and knee replacements. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after my grandma, my grandma went with my mom to all her appointments in San Francisco and all her surgeries. All the while, she still travels just to support me and my teammates as we play softball across the states …
“She has a great sense of humor and constantly finds time to take baked goods to her friends and help people in need …
“She is, by far, the most unselfish person I have ever known, and I am so thankful that I have her in my life. She is my hero.”
Mundee is modest about her contributions.
“When people need something, I’m here for them,” she said.
That includes everything from taking food to sick neighbors to baking potato-chip cookies (that’s right, potato chips) to support the softball team.
Mundee says the real hero is her daughter, Michelle Daugherty, who is the volunteer president and manager of SLO County Nitro, which includes four traveling teams. Daugherty also coaches her daughter’s team.
When Mundee was diagnosed with breast cancer last October, Daugherty thought she had better be checked out as well.
Her diagnosis followed in November. She continued to coach, and she didn’t miss any tournaments.
A year later, both mother and grandmother are looking forward to next year’s season. They hope to add an out-of-state road trip to the schedule, possibly to Colorado.
“Our best bet is to get a big bus,” Mundee said. “We’re pushing for that.”
Mundee is helping dozens of Paso Robles girls enjoy the camaraderie of team sports while developing their skills on the field. The Tribune is proud to de clare the SLO County Nitro’s biggest fan, Beverly Mundee, an unsung hero.
ABOUT THE UNSUNG HERO SERIES
Although The Tribune seeks to celebrate our community’s quiet heroes throughout the year, it’s especially appropriate to do so during the holidays, when we pause to give thanks, gather with friends and family and share the warmth and light that brightens our lives.
These unsung heroes are people who practice the Golden Rule and are passionate about their causes but seek no return for their actions other than the satisfaction that comes with helping others.
By highlighting individuals who unselfishly apply their energy and skills to lighten the burden of others, we hope, first, to offer these community heroes the appreciation they deserve; second, to let those who could use the help know of available resources; and third, to inspire others who are able to help in whatever way they can.