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Ollies

2021 Foundation Spotlight: Ollie's Bargain Outlet

Over the last 20 years the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has partnered with many generous organizations that have had an enormous impact on how we do business today. One of the most influential partners has been Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, once led by our former Ripken Foundation Chairman of the Board and friend, Mark Butler. Mark was a steadfast supporter of the Foundation for nine years before his sudden passing in November 2019. Through his vision and commitment, we were able to help thousands of at-risk youth in need across the country. “Mark Butler was more than a business leader and philanthropist; he was a great friend who is missed every day. As chairman of the Board of Directors he showed passion for the at-risk youth we impact year-round and provided us with the vision and guidance that allows us to reach so many,” said Cal Ripken, Jr. 

And, today his legacy continues as his daughter Brooke Butler Wagner has joined our Board of Directors and new Ollie’s Bargain Outlet President and CEO, John Swygert has made the Foundation one of Ollie’s corporate charitable program partners. “Our mission is to support organizations that better the lives of children and provide the best opportunities to our next generation. That is why, Ollie’s is proud to support the work of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and the 1.2 million at-risk youth they impact across the country,” stated Mr. Swygert. 

Ollie’s has raised $12.8 million over the last 11 consecutive years to support the Ripken Foundation’s programs and parks through their fall in-store point-of purchase campaign. “Ollie’s has been one of our most generous corporate partners providing unwavering support of our parks and programs. I want to personally thank John Swygert, Ollie’s President and CEO, for continuing the legacy that our former Chairman, Mark Butler, started 12 years ago and your commitment to the work that we do.  We hope to continue this successful partnership for many years to come,” said President and CEO of the Ripken Foundation, Steve Salem. This year’s 12th annual Ollie’s in-store point-of-purchase campaign begins August 29th and goes through September 25th.

Thanks to this successful giving campaign, Ollie’s has contributed to 13 of the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Parks in California, Florida, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. These multipurpose or baseball turf fields provide clean, safe recreational places for kids to play and learn. Our partnership with Ollie’s has left an indelible legacy in local communities where Ollie’s employees work and live. We thank them for their faithful partnership through the years. 

 

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CELEBRATING 100 FIELDS IN 2021

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is about to open our 100th Youth Development Park in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City. To date, over 500,000 at-risk youth have access to one of our Youth Development Parks in 26 states and Washington, D.C., including 19 Adaptive Fields for children with special needs. These baseball or multipurpose, low-maintenance, synthetic surface fields give at-risk youth a safe and clean place to play. 

Reedbird Park will give underserved kids the opportunity to go somewhere productive and learn life lessons about respect, communication, and teamwork through sports from positive adult mentors, as well as have fun in a healthy environment. The Ripken Foundation fields are truly transformational for kids and communities who need them the most. If you would like to make a donation to support the 100th Park campaign, please DONATE NOW

  • Reach and Impact

    Reach & Impact

    In 2020, the Ripken Foundation collaborated with 361 local youth-serving partners and law enforcement agencies in 242 cities and towns in 41 states, Washington, D.C., Curacao, Dominican Republic, Panama, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands to impact over 1.2 million at-risk youth. The Ripken Foundation Portal, which gives mentors access to our program curriculum guides, impacted 291,201 of those at-risk youth while our new virtual programs reached over 7,850 kids. In addition, we now have 128 STEM Centers completed in 15 states giving over 60,000 kids the early exposure and hands-on opportunity to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

  • Mentoring

    Mentoring

    In 2020, over 2,743 coaches, law enforcement officers, teachers, volunteers, and other youth mentors worked with the kids in our programs. Badges for Baseball, our signature crime prevention and mentoring program, impacted 13,826 kids in 38 communities.

  • Youth Development Parks

    Youth Development Parks

    We’re adding more of our signature Youth Development Parks every year—creating safe places to play and renewing community pride.

    ydp map

Testimonials

We love to hear how the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has positively impacted the lives of our mentors and at-risk youth. If you have a positive experience with the Foundation that you would like to share, please submit a story. You might be featured below or on our social media outlets!

  • Ernie Graham

    I remember meeting Ernie Graham on the second day of the CRSF Summer Camp and listening to the story he told us about how he went from rags to riches to rags. I can honestly say that the summer camp was the reason I came back to school and decided to become a smart athlete.

    Cornell Powell
    Former Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Summer Camp Participant
  • kids with cop shield

    The Badges for Baseball program was a 100% law enforcement participation program and the kids that participated were at-risk kids who would never speak or communicate with the police. That has changed drastically, these kids now run up to the police cruisers and they want to talk to the police.

    Sgt. Randy Shaw
    Stafford County, Virginia
  • kids playing quickball

    The Badges for Baseball program has yielded results that were unforeseen.  The relationships made will be lifelong and the Green Bay Police Department is eager to continue on with the program.

    Officer Kevin Warych
    Green Bay Police Department
  • kids, baseball glove on head

    This CRSF camp trip was packed with “first’s” for most of the members that joined me: it was the first time these members traveled out of state and for some, the first time at a baseball camp. Although the camp was loaded with memories, what stuck with my group of boys the most was the bonding they had with our roommates after all the activities were done.

    BJ Kolb
    Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay
  • kids with cops

    I can remember back to my first day in the Badges for Baseball program. The police officers were amazing, coming out to all the practices and games. They had a big influence on me, and because of them, I am now studying to become a police officer at Fox Valley Tech in Appleton, Wisconsin. It wouldn’t have been possible without Badges for Baseball. 

    Alex Steward
    Former Badges for Baseball Participant
  • cop with four kids

    I have seen students come out of their shells, they are answering questions, they are building relationships with police officers and it is a very positive program in the schools.

    Tricia Winkler
    Principal, Lima South Science-Technology Magnet
  • kids, joyous arms raised

    Although our gym can be quite chaotic during the Badges for Baseball program, it has been rewarding to see the kids practice sportsmanship and leadership during games. I've had multiple students ask me, ‘Can we come back every day?’ It's questions like those that make all the chaos worthwhile.

    Carrie Marsh
    Mentor, Y of Central Maryland
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