Mac baseball alumni recognized for community work

McMaster University baseball alumni Steve McGrail has been named one of Major League Baseball and PEOPLE magazine’s “All-Stars Among Us”

MLB and PEOPLE teamed to find 30 individuals, who serve their communities in extraordinary ways, to represent each big league team. McGrail will represent the Toronto Blue Jays, and he will be honored during a pregame ceremony at the All-Star Game on July 13 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Steve and his wife Lisa, also a McMaster graduate and who live in Wyoming, Ont., near Sarnia, created Kylie’s Kause in 2004 in memory of their daughter, Kylie Marie, who passed away due to complications from a premature birth. Kylie’s Kause is a two-mile charity walk, run and silent auction that in just five years has attracted over 1,000 participants and raised more than $171,000 for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in London – the largest individual fundraiser for the NICU.

In the charity’s first year, Lisa and Steve set a modest goal of raising $5,000 and figured over five years a $25,000 donation would be a nice gift to the NICU in memory of Kylie. They were overjoyed when they raised $20,000 at their first event. The event has continued to grow ever since.

In addition to graduating from McMaster, McGrail was a multi-year member of the Marauder baseball team. He suited up for the first fully recognized McMaster team in 1994 doing double duty as a player and member of the club executive. During the 1994 season he was the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association (CIBA) National Tournament All Star selection at second base, and the CIBA Defensive Player of the Year.

In 2006, Lisa and Steve where also honoured with McMaster’s Alumni Arch Award-Young Alumni Award. The Arch Award recognizes McMaster’s most recent graduates for their unique and interesting contributions to society, their local community, and to McMaster University. Arch Award recipients are remarkable individuals who have graduated from McMaster less than 10 years ago with a graduate degree, or less than 15 years ago with an undergraduate degree.

Aside from their dedicated work organizing Kylie’s Kause, Steve has taught for 11 years and Lisa is a Registered Physical Therapist. After both graduating with Bachelor of Kinesiology degrees from McMaster, Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Toronto and Steve earned a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor.

They have both also volunteered their time coaching a Special Olympics Soccer Team. Steve is an active runner, has trained for and ran the Walt Disney World Marathon and has dedicated many hours to coaching baseball, track and field and volleyball. Their tireless dedication to their community has not gone unnoticed and has no doubt been an important contributor to the success of Kylie’s Kause.

Lisa and Steve reside in Wyoming with their five-year-old son, Jace.