Thanks to the generosity of the Boston Red Sox, ABCD (Action for Boston Community Development) once again hosts its iconic summertime fundraiser, Field of Dreams, at Fenway Park to benefit Greater Boston’s underserved, low-income youth through the ABCD SummerWorks program.
The event will take place on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 as over a dozen teams from Boston’s leading businesses play ball on Boston’s historic diamond. They’ll fulfill just about every sports fanatic’s dream to hit, run and field at Fenway Park!
The benefit softball tournament, which raised more than $280,000 last year and over $5 million in the past two decades for the ABCD SummerWorks program, begins at 7 a.m. on Fenway’s manicured grounds and breaks for a mid-day check presentation. The day wraps up at approximately 7 p.m.
This year, ABCD is excited to welcome William F. Kennedy, partner at Nutter law firm, as event co-chair. He joins Lew Eisenberg, partner at Cosgrove, Eisenberg and Kiley, P.C., who has co-chaired since the first ABCD Field of Dreams 22 years ago.
“Our SummerWorks program has been hugely successful in providing disadvantaged teenagers living in dire situations – some of them homeless, all of them facing barriers – with wonderful work experiences along with vital income for their families,” said ABCD Executive VP/COO Sharon Scott-Chandler. “It’s been a great, great program and we need it to grow. We get over 3,000 applicants every year for SummerWorks, but because of cutbacks to our funding, we have to use a lottery to select the 680 or so kids we have room for in the program.
“That is why the money raised for Field of Dreams is so important,” Scott-Chandler continued. “The more money we raise, the more kids we can help gain access to opportunity and to see their potential.”
Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said, “All of us at the Red Sox understand the vital role that ABCD plays in our community. We realize that one special day at Fenway Park translates into hundreds of summer jobs. It is our honor to be a long-time partner with this important organization.”
Field of Dreams presents a once-in-a-lifetime Fenway Park experience. As sponsor teams take the field, each player’s face will be beamed on the Jumbotron as their names are announced over the PA system – just like a real MLB player! They’ll have a chance to throw, catch, bat, run the bases, and score at Fenway Park. When they’re not on the field, they’ll hang out like their Major League Baseball heroes in the official Fenway dugouts.
Corporate teams contribute $20,000 to participate and players are permitted to invite an unlimited number of guests to watch the games at Fenway. Boston Children’s Hospital, John Hancock Financial Services, Partners HealthCare, Ropes and Gray andThe TJX Companies, Inc., who have all participated in the event every year — that’s every year for 22 years — are back again this summer along with longtime in-kind sponsors Aramark, Franklin Sports, Twins Enterprises, BU Office of Parking, MASCO and Streetwear.
A variety of off-field activities and entertainment are part of the activities, including face and T-shirt painting for kids, free baseball pictures and a photo booth.
ABCD SummerWorks provides seven weeks of full-time employment and a broad range of job readiness skills for low-income youth ages 14-21 in Boston. Youth spend 120 hours providing valuable services to local nonprofit organizations, and are provided 20 hours of individualized job readiness education. Youth also receive the supportive mentorship and guidance of a youth services specialist to navigate the ins and outs of their first supervisory work relationship.
This year, nearly 700 SummerWorks participants will be placed in paid jobs with one of more than 200 partner employers including community organizations, government agencies, child care centers, day camps, health centers, and other workplaces where they’ll learn not only about the job itself but about giving back to others. Along with taking home a weekly check, teens participate in career-oriented workshops and network with mentors. Through the program they earn a sense of purpose, fulfillment and a plan for the future.
To learn more about ABCD Field of Dreams, how you or your organization can sign up for a future sponsored event, or to donate, contact Amelia Aubourg, Senior Manager, Special Events, ABCD, at [email protected] or call 617-348-6238.