Cal Ripken visits Salisbury to tout at-risk youth program

Perdue Farms’ Chairman Jim Perdue joined former Baltimore Orioles shortstop and Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken Jr. and representatives from the Cal Ripken Sr. and Richard A. Henson foundations to celebrate Badges for Baseball Day at the Richard A. Henson Family YMCA in Salisbury.

Youth engaged in the Salisbury Badges for Baseball program participated in a baseball clinic alongside members of the Salisbury Police Department. Perdue and Ripken, co-founder of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, kicked off the celebration and participated in the clinic.

After the clinic, youth attended a Delmarva Shorebirds minor league baseball game.

“We are extremely proud of the partnership between the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the Richard A. Henson Foundation and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation,” said Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

“They see the value in what we are trying to do, and truly believe in the young people in the Salisbury community. We hope to help improve the lives of millions of at-risk youth in distressed communities with the help of generous supporters like the Arthur W. Perdue and Henson Foundations,” he said.

The Ripken Foundation created Badges for Baseball in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice designed to reshape the relationship between law enforcement and kids living in underserved communities across the country.

It’s a simple concept: pair cops and kids together to play and learn. The Salisbury Badges for Baseball program kicked-off in January thanks to generous donations from the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation ($25,000) and the Richard A. Henson Foundation, and will impact more than 100 youth in the area in 2014.

“We at Perdue are honored to be a part of the Badges for Baseball program,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “Frank Perdue’s legendary love for baseball coupled with the impact of law enforcement officers using the game to influence the lives of at-risk youth made this partnership an attractive investment for us.

“Working with the Henson and Ripken foundations to make this happen on the Eastern Shore is a wonderful way to work collaboratively for the good of the children in our community,” Nechay said.

“The Richard Henson Foundation is excited to collaborate with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, Salisbury law enforcement and the YMCA to bring the Badges for Baseball program to Salisbury,” said Tom Evans, a Henson Foundation Trustee and Henson Family YMCA Board member. “The Ripken name in Maryland — in fact in the nation — is synonymous with respect, discipline, and integrity.”

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation uses baseball- and softball-themed programs to help build character and teach critical life lessons to underserved youth residing in America’s most distressed communities.

Founded in 2001 by members of the Ripken family in memory of their patriarch Cal Sr., the foundation works to create programs that positively impact at-risk youth through active community partnerships with America’s most successful youth service organizations.

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