RAVENS FOUNDATION, INC. PARTNERS WITH ATHLETES SERVING ATHLETES
The Ravens Foundation, Inc. has joined forces with Athletes Serving Athletes (ASA) in forging a charitable partnership, it was announced Thursday. Beginning in 2015, the Ravens Foundation will provide financial assistance in the amount of $25,000 to aid in the initiatives of ASA throughout the Baltimore community.
Established in 2001, the Ravens Foundation serves as a separate nonprofit entity of the team's community outreach efforts. In addition to appearances and in-kind donations, the foundation affords support to Baltimore area nonprofit organizations.
ASA started as a group of motivated, volunteer athletes who wanted to use their abilities to support youth living with disabilities in Baltimore City. Since its inception in 2008, the organization's mission has been to empower athletes living with disabilities to train and compete in mainstream running and triathlon events. ASA uses athletic activity as a catalyst for personal development – improving physical fitness, increasing self-esteem and empowering challenged youth to meet their highest potential.
With strong leadership and dedicated volunteers, ASA continues to empower hundreds of athletes living with disabilities to train and compete in over 60 running and triathlon events each year. ASA's WingMan program allows able-bodied volunteers to lend their hearts and legs by participating alongside ASA athletes in all training sessions and racing events. The organization's reach extends from Baltimore City throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, offering mentoring, training and competitive opportunities. All programs are offered at no cost to the athletes or their families.
"I have heard it said that it is not as important to be strong, as to feel strong," founder and ASA Executive Director David Slomkowski stated. "Participation in competitive athletics tears down walls, fosters healthy lifestyles and relationships, while making the individual feel truly alive. There are tens of thousands of individuals, living with limited to no mobility, in Maryland alone who can benefit from Athletes Serving Athletes WingMan program. Because of partners like the Baltimore Ravens, who are committed to excellence on and off the field, ASA is proud to provide training opportunities and participation in mainstream running and triathlon events at no cost to the athletes we serve."
"The look on our athletes faces when they cross the finish line is priceless. Our athletes are truly an inspiration to us all and give more inspiration and perspective than we could ever give to them. As a Baltimore-based organization made up of sports enthusiasts, it is beyond exciting to be supported at this level by the World Champion Baltimore Ravens."
In 2014, 94 athletes engaged and participated in ASA's program and together, crossed over 300 finish lines in 58 mainstream events. The organization's goal is to increase these numbers by 15% in 2015.
In addition to its charitable partners, the Ravens Foundation provides local community support through other programs such as the Ravens Youth Football Grant, Ravens Scholarship Program and PLAY 60 grant. Athletes Serving Athletes joins other Baltimore-based programs, including Boys Hope Girls Hope, Bridges at St. Paul's School, My Sister's Circle and Playworks Maryland, as an official charitable partner of the Ravens Foundation.
The Ravens Foundation, Inc. is committed to improving, encouraging and enabling the healthy development of youth in the Baltimore area, as well as other parts of the state of Maryland. The foundation focuses on programs that help youth, and in some cases their families, with various needs, including housing, hunger, education, athletics and mentoring.