There’s only a few days left to vote to send a Queens person to the Major League Baseball All Star Game.
No, we’re not talking about Mets stars David Wright or Mike Pelfrey, who are likely headed to July’s All-Star game in Anaheim, CA.
We’re talking about Astoria resident Hector Algarroba, who is the only Queens finalist in the PEOPLE Magazine All-Stars Among Us contest, which recognizes individuals who give back to their communities.
Algarroba, who is the founder of the HHS Foundation, a non-profit organization that started out collecting used baseball equipment and distributing it to children in the Dominican Republic and has expanded to distribute wheelchairs and medical supplies as well, is going up against two finalists from New Jersey.
“My son being a baseball lover and a four-year baseball player at CW Post, he saw this on the MLB web site and he put this in without telling me, and all of a sudden I get a call from PEOPLE All Stars saying I was one of the nominees,” said Algarroba, a service engineer who has lived in Astoria for more than 25 years.
Since 2003, Algarroba said the HHS Foundation has focused on eradicating immobility in the Dominican Republic, and through partnerships with the Wheelchair Foundation and American Wheelchair Mission, he has been able to bring 3,000 wheelchairs to needy residents.
“It’s giving them back a lot of their independence and also it alleviates the family member having to carry the person out of the house,” said Algarroba, who personally delivers the wheelchairs to individuals.
Algarroba, who named the HHS Foundation after his dad, Hipolito, himself Hector and his son Steven, said that in the 12 years the organizations has been in existence it has never held a fundraiser or tried to push for money.
“I’m just glad that there is more than one contestant because there are three different causes and it brings light to what we’re doing,” Algarroba said. “The winner will be well-deserved because of the work that we do, but it’s just an honor to be able to be mentioned along with the work of the other two contestants that were chosen.”
Queens residents can log onto www.peopleallstars.com and click on the New York Mets link to vote for Hector Algarroba or another contestant. Voting ends June 20.