Family Hopes Nick Jonas Encounter is Good For Community

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by Morgan Fogarty
Bio | Email | Follow: @morganfogarty by Photographer Chris Keimig

SHERRILLS FORD, N.C. - Superstar musician Nick Jonas hung out last month with Joseph and Noah Cockman of Sherrills Ford in one of the dugouts at the Sherrills Ford Optimist Club.  Jonas, his castmates and crew asked to borrow the club to privately play ball and celebrate their movie shoot wrap.

When rain delayed the game, the Cockman brothers - who both have dreams of singing professionally one day - asked Jonas if they could play for him.  10-year-old Joseph says, "When he signed my guitar, he said that anytime I play, that when I look there, he said that 'I'll be cheering you on.'"  8-year-old Noah says, "At school, my friend Ellie, she kept saying 'no fair!'"

Meeting Nick Jonas was exciting, but the experience was a full circle moment for this ball club.  Two years ago, a fire destroyed nearly everything here."

"We had that moment of  look what happened, how far we've come," says Jessie Cockman.  She is the boy's mom and an Optimist Club Board Member.  She's helped raise about $150,000 so far but says, "We don't have much money left and the building is empty.  We still need to put bathrooms and all the kitchen supplies, everything in there."
 
She wrestled with keeping the video of her boys meeting Jonas private, but decided the publicity might help generate donations for this community club that provides the only sports option for local elementary and some middle schoolers.

Cockman says, "We are really passionate about making sure this stays around."
 
Her boys, while they loved meeting a superstar, agree.  Noah says, "I hope this building gets rebuilt and more people will start coming."

Cockman says she's doesn't think Nick Jonas realized the building had been destroyed by fire when he played there last month.  We reached out to Nick on Twitter and through his manager, but haven't yet heard back.

To view the entire YouTube clip of the Cockman brothers with Nick Jonas, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STPOH_jZqmE.

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