Major League Baseball and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig have named the Boston Red Sox as the inaugural recipients of the Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence, which was created to recognize the charitable and philanthropic efforts of an MLB Club. The Red Sox will be acknowledged for their work with the 'Red Sox Scholars' program, which is administered by the Red Sox Foundation and creates educational opportunities for inner-city youth. The Red Sox Foundation will receive a $10,000 grant from Major League Baseball for this recognition.
'I am enormously proud of the charitable efforts made by all 30 Clubs this season. Their contributions have made a significant impact in communities across the country,' said Commissioner Selig. 'I congratulate the entire Boston Red Sox organization, and particularly the Red Sox Foundation, for their commitment to the future of hundreds of young people from the inner-cities of Boston.'
'When John Henry, Larry Lucchino and I joined our partners to become owners of the Boston Red Sox, we pledged to not only field a competitive team, but to harness the passion of Red Sox fans to create positive change in our community,' said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. 'With the support of our players, sponsors and generous fans, the Red Sox Foundation has become a philanthropic force in our community. We are humbled to receive this award and accept it on behalf of Red Sox Nation.'
The Red Sox Scholar program is the educational cornerstone of the Red Sox Foundation and seeks to create a ladder of opportunity for inner-city youth. Each year, the Red Sox provide mentoring, tutoring, enrichment activities and a $10,000 college scholarship to 25 academically talented, but economically disadvantaged, Boston Public School students. Selected in the 5th grade, Scholars become part of the 'Red Sox Family,' attending games, participating in afterschool programs and working closely with Red Sox staff to realize their future aspirations. Beyond the school year, Club employees help enroll the Scholars in summer camps or find part-time jobs, including working as summer interns for the Club.
'The Red Sox Foundation is a civic and charitable leader in our community,' said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. 'They demonstrate teamwork where it counts most, by helping open the doors to college for our talented Boston Public School students. We are especially honored that MLB has highlighted the Red Sox Scholars program. It shows the impact professional sports teams can have when, like the Red Sox Foundation, they join with our public schools and with cities across the country to help those struggling with poverty, illness, stigma and low expectations. We congratulate the Sox on this award.'
Funded by the Red Sox Foundation, the Red Sox Scholars program now serves over 200 low income students from 6th grade through their first class of Scholars, who are currently college freshmen. Each year, the new class of 25 Scholars is introduced during a Fenway Park pre-game ceremony where they are escorted onto the field by Red Sox players. For more information, please visit www.redsoxfoundation.org.