Outstanding Philanthropic Youth
~ Tommy Rhomberg ~
Tommy Rhomberg, the son of John and Amanda Rhomberg, is a 14 year old from Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
Following the Derecho of 2020, Tommy Rhomberg decided to make a gift for his friend who was supposed to have a birthday party the weekend following the derecho. Tommy was thinking about how he could commemorate his friend’s unforgettable birthday. The storm itself provided some inspiration. “I wanted to make him some sort of gift,” Tommy said. “His favorite sport is baseball, and when I saw the super straight branch in my yard, I just thought I could carve the perfect baseball bat to give him.” After four days, ten hours of work, and a few blisters, he had the perfect gift. Emblazoned with its own logo, “The Great Derecho” bat was a work of art.
After a social media post went viral, many wanted one of Tommy’s homemade bats. In the end, Tommy made nearly 500 bats by hand, raising more than $8,000 for derecho recovery. Even for those who couldn’t get their hands on a hand-made Tommy Rhomberg bat, the story provided some inspiration. Donors from around the world have made gifts to the Disaster Recovery Fund in Tommy’s honor, totaling more than $16,000.