We have an update to a story we first brought to you on February 25th. That’s when we shared the story of William Milton “Milt” Capps, a resident at Smithfield Manor on Berkshire Road.
Milt’s lifelong dream was to see the New York Yankees play at Yankee Stadium. Thanks to friends, strangers, and local businesses, a total of 142 people donated to a GoFundMe campaign that paid for Milt’s trip to Yankee Stadium to see the June 23rd Old Timers game.
Milt grew up in the Brogden community east of Smithfield, married, and raised two children. He retired at the age of 82. He lost his wife in 2006 and in 2018 became a resident of Smithfield Manor.
Milt loved the Yankees. He would come in from a long day at work to listen to his favorites like Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra play on the radio. He was able to travel to Washington DC and Baltimore to watch a couple of major league ball games when he was younger but he never made it to Yankee Stadium.
One of the staff members at Smithfield Manor, Jodi Desimone was also a Yankee fan. She grew up in Syracuse, NY and moved to North Carolina 8 years ago. Jodi saw Milt wearing Yankee memorabelia one day and they struck up a conversation. In the days that followed they would exchange stories and game scores. Last Fall, Milt told Jodi the one regret he had in his life was never to have watched the Yankees play in Yankee Stadium.
Jodi shared the story with co-worker, Donnie Wood, and together they launched a GoFundMe campaign. JoCoReport.com brought attention to Milt’s story in February. Our story was then picked up by a few local TV stations. Within days over $4,000 was raised to pay for Milt’s trip. Even a few Boston Red Sox fans contributed!
“As you know we had been working on this several months prior with very little effect. When I sent you an email asking if this would be a good story I had little idea of how big your response would be… Your article February 25, 2019 started our success,” Desimone said.
On June 22nd, Mr. Milt, his best friend Billy Stephenson, Denise Pace RN and Donnie Woods CAN, left for the life changing trip. They toured Yankee Stadium and attended the Old Timers Game. Milt enjoyed the New York pizza, seeing the “tall buildings” and experienced a New York City taxi ride. Not to mention his first airplane ride.
The group returned to Smithfield on June 24th. What a way to celebrate your 100th birthday!
“He enjoyed all of this and has said how loved he feels,” Mrs. Desimone told JoCoReport. “He has also said that his favorite part of the trip was the group he was with. The staff at Smithfield Manor Nursing and Rehab have been excited, thankful and blessed by this whole experience.”
“Many staff, visitors, family members and friends of Milt stopped by to personally hand us donations,” Mrs. Desimone said. “We even received a vintage Yankee jacket from an elderly couple that read your article and stopped by, though they had never been here before.”
“It has been a blessing to see the wonderful community outreach and love on Mr. Milton’s behalf,” she said. “I am hoping you can share this thank you with the community.”
Happy 100th Birthday Mr. Milt.