2009: Red Sox Foundation and the Marvin Lewis Community Fund

    • February 28, 2010

Red Sox Foundation
The winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Patterson Award for Best Sports Team Charity was presented to the Red Sox Foundation at Fenway Park in September 2009.

The official team charity of The Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation seeks to harness the passion fans have for the team and put that energy and commitment to work to create positive change in our community.

Created in 2003, the Red Sox Foundation has quickly become the largest team charity in Major League baseball, making over $36 million in grants to nonprofit programs and services in the past 7 years. In addition, the team charity helps nonprofits raise funds and awareness of their programs through in kind donations.

Most of the Foundations work is focused on at risk children and families. The Red Sox Foundation has won numerous awards for the impact and ingenuity of its programs and philanthropic partnerships. The 5 cornerstone programs of the Red Sox Foundation include:

  • Support for cancer research through the Jimmy Fund;
  • The Red Sox Scholars program serving academically talented but economic disadvantaged students in Boston's Public Schools through tutoring, after school enrichment activities, summer activities, mentoring and college scholarships
  • The Red Sox Foundation RBI and Rookie Youth Baseball program serving some 900 inner city youth each summer;
  • The Smart Kids Program at the Dimock Center, serving some 40,000 families in Bostons communities of color; and
  • The Home Base Program, serving veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan with what have become the two most common "signature invisible wounds of the war -- Traumatic Brain Injury or PTSD. The Red Sox Foundation's Home Base Program is a philanthropic partnership with Mass General Hospital and provides clinical care, research, community education and family resources for veterans with these two often debilitating conditions and their families.

Surprisingly for such a significant sports charity, the Red Sox Foundation has no endowment. Each year, the small staff raises more than 80 percent of the funds needed to support their charitable work through special events and fundraising activities that engage sponsors, donors and the team's owners, players and their wives and fans.

The Red Sox Foundation also seeks to expand its impact by actively working collaboratively with other New England area nonprofits and freely sharing best practices with other sports charities including those outside of baseball.

For more information go to www.redsoxfoundation.org.

Marvin Lewis Community Fund
The Marvin Lewis Community Fund empowers youth education in the Greater Cincinnati region. The funds generated by the Marvin Lewis Community Fund

(MLCF) support its ongoing outreach programs, which primarily focus on education. Since its inception the MLCF has directly impacted over 510,000 individuals in the Greater Cincinnati region. MLCF Programs include:

  • Hometown Huddle
  • Marvin Lewis USA Football Coaching Clinic
  • Marvin Lewis Youth Football Camp
  • Marvin Lewis Scholarship Fund
  • "Learning Is Cool"

Our two primary programs are "Learning Is Cool," an academic rewards program that motivates students to strive for academic excellence; and the Marvin Lewis Scholarship Fund which awards at least five, $20,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors each year. Through 2015 we have awarded over $1.3 million dollars to 69 outstanding community-minded student-athletes who attend universities all over the country. The current group of students has an average GPA of 3.38.

"Learning Is Cool" now engages over 30,000 public school students mostly in grades 1 - 8, in four urban school districts. These students are rewarded with a small gift and a letter from Coach Lewis each time they make the "A"

Honor Roll (3.51+). If they make it twice in an academic year they are invited to a private event at the Cincinnati Zoo where they are greeted individually by Coach Lewis and have a professional photograph taken with him before they go with their families to be greeted by a Cincinnati Bengals player who honors the student with a medal of achievement. In Cincinnati Public Schools the number of honor roll achievements has risen over 103 percent in 7 years; and in the smaller North College Hill school district, after 3 years the achievement numbers are up 165 percent!

HISTORY: Marvin Lewis was named the Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach on January 14, 2003, making him the eighth African-American to be named to an NFL head coaching position. In October of the same year, Marvin and his wife Peggy launched the Marvin Lewis Community Fund In the past 12 years, Marvin Lewis has made hundreds of appearances and strengthened franchise ties to the community, while the MLCF has raised over $10 million in support of its programs. Since 2009, the MLCF has reinvested an average of $.91 cents of every dollar raised back into the community.

More details about Empowering Youth Education can be found at www.marvinlewis.org.


Excellence in Sports Philanthropy

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