PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Baseball is a lot of fun for one Ponte Vedra High School student. But he seems to have found a true passion in helping find mission children.
A well-known missing child case came to the attention of Corey Udell, which led him to create the BairFind Club at Ponte Vedra High. The 16-year-old, who just finished sophomore year, now hopes to make a difference in every school in the nation.
Udell was 14 years old when he volunteered for an event and met people from the BairFind Foundation, which is a national organization based in Jacksonville that's focused on getting the public involved in the search for missing children.
"The BairFind Foundation helps generate tips and leads in the search for missing children by placing signs at sporting events," Udell told News4Jax. "I started a club for it at Ponte Vedra High School."
Udell met two family members living the enduring sadness of missing children and it changed him.
"Once I met them, there was nothing I could say to them. There were only things that I could do," he said. "So my sophomore year in high school, the next year, I started the club."
Udell’s club has 40 active members and raised money to provide more signs and more awareness to missing children. They use signs to encourage people to look at the faces of those who are missing and speak up if they have a tip. Five of the eight faces have stickers now that say “found.”
Udell wants to see the impact of his BairFind Club expand across the region, the state and the country.
"Our biggest goal, or my biggest goal, is to get BairFind Club or a BairFind sign in every high school in the nation. We currently have plans to start new clubs in other schools next year," he said. "It's absolutely worth it to me. Every second of it ... just the impact I see on other people with the club."
By the way, Udell isn’t taking this summer off. The rising junior is hosting a baseball camp at Cornerstone Park in Ponte Vedra Beach the first week of July. All proceeds will go to the BairFind Foundation.