Philadelphia’s beloved pitcher throughout the 2008 Phillies’ World Series Championship has always been known for his accomplishments off the field. Cole and his wife Heidi started The Hamels Foundation in 2008 with the initial focus of helping to fund childhood programs throughout the Philadelphia area. This reach eventually expanded across the United States and Africa.
The Foundation’s site states, “We believe that through education any child, regardless of circumstances, can achieve their dreams.” The focus on education is paramount to the organization.
About the Property
After his time spent with the Phillies, Hamels was then relocated to the Texas Rangers. During this time, he and Heidi began construction on an incredible estate in Branson, Missouri located along the Ozark waterfront of Table Rock Lake.
The 104 acres property was selected as the perfect site for the couple to build their dream home. Shortly thereafter, construction began on a massive 32,000 square foot home, complete with 10 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 6 half bathrooms, two kitchens, a wine cellar, an elevator, an exercise room, and a 5-car garage.
Change of plans – House for Sale
When the couple decided they wanted to stay located in Texas, they put the property up for sale. At the time, it was still under construction and not completed. The most recent sale price for the property was $9.4 million according to Realtor.com. Despite the property’s incredible features, it can undoubtedly be hard to find a buyer for a property of this scale, especially considering construction was still not complete.
The Bright Idea
After encountering the difficulties in selling, the Hamels decided to consider alternatives. Considering their philanthropic background, the idea of donating the property was not out of the questions. But what charity can use and maintain a 32,000 square foot home?
It was not until Cole and Heidi met with Camp Barnabas, a local Missouri nonprofit dedicated to creating life-changing experiences for children with special needs and chronic illnesses. The couple and organization exchanged keys towards the end of 2017, and the Hamels Foundation remains actively involved with the organization to this day.
Until this donation, Camp Barnabas served about 2,000 campers per year. Following this incredible donation, the nonprofit hopes to expand its outreach and mission to include more children. They are currently working with local neighbors of the property to determine the best way to utilize the location.
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