An Iowa boy is selling baseball bats he makes from fallen trees to raise money for storm victims

That’s when 12-year-old Tommy Rhomberg stepped up to the plate.

Using fallen branches, Tommy designed and carved greater than 200 baseball bats, which he sold to raise money for victims of the widespread wind storm, often known as a derecho. For every bat bought for $100, he donated $20 to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.

Tommy got here up with the thought on the day of the storm, which occurred to be his greatest pal’s birthday. Knowing Walker Viessman’s love for baseball — and surrounded by fallen trees from the storm — Tommy determined to reward his pal a hand-carved bat.

“This is simply Tommy,” Amanda Rhomberg, Tommy’s mother, informed CNN. “He’s at all times been tremendous artistic and loves constructing stuff. He wakened at 6 a.m. to work on it over the course of some days till it was good. When I noticed it, my jaw simply dropped.”

Amanda says Tommy made the bat utilizing his grandfather’s whittling instruments and sand paper, and that he labored till his arms have been coated in blisters.

Tommy Rhomberg, right, and Walker Viessman hold the bat Tommy made for Walker.

Viessman, additionally 12, was amazed by his pal’s considerate reward.

“I did not anticipate something for my birthday, however when Tommy introduced me the bat he made me, I used to be so excited and grateful I’ve that nice of a pal,” Viessman informed CNN. “It was so good of him to spend that a lot time making me a bat for my birthday.”

After Amanda posted photos of the bat on Facebook, the put up went viral and a whole lot of individuals requested if Tommy may make them bats.
Before lengthy, Tommy’s dad and mom purchased a lathe to assist him carve extra bats, which he calls “The Great Derecho,” and designed a website the place he can promote them. They additionally helped him give you the thought to use a portion of the proceeds to assist neighbors impacted by the storm.

“I wished to make my pal Walker a bat for his birthday,” Tommy mentioned. “I had no thought numerous different folks would need one too. I like having the ability to assist, and I’m glad if folks do not have money to rebuild they’ll use among the money donated from the bats as an alternative.”

Rhomberg carving one of his homemade bats.

After consumers place an order, the self-taught woodworker begins by taking a fallen log to a close-by farm, the place it is lower into smaller items. His dad then saws the items into octagons earlier than Tommy lastly lathes them into bats.

“I do not know how his little arms can accomplish that a lot,” Amanda mentioned. “He has put in a whole lot of hours into making these bats. I’m so pleased with him for instructing himself a brand new ability and beginning a enterprise whereas doing a lot good. He exhibits that you could make a distinction in your nook of the world by doing what you possibly can with what you’ve gotten.”

The bats, that are about 30 inches lengthy, cannot be used to play baseball, because the fallen wooden will crack because the wooden dries over time. But folks can preserve them as “somewhat memento from the storm,” Amanda mentioned.

Tommy has a ready listing of greater than 600 individuals who need to purchase considered one of his bats.

While he is not positive how many extra he’ll make — “I’m 12 years previous and my dad and mom will not let me drop out of the sixth grade,” he mentioned — consumers can monitor his progress on Facebook.

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