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Transforming Communities, Changing Kids' Lives

ABOUT US

The Kellys: The Power of Impact in the Community

June 21, 2024

Guided by a deep commitment to his community, his family, and his faith, Senator Frank Kelly, Jr. has carvkelly bbjed a history of public service, business success, and civic involvement. In 1976, he and his wife, Janet, founded Kelly Benefits in their basement, which has grown to become one of the nation’s largest employee benefit administrators, brokers, consultants, and payroll providers. Today, their four sons, Frank III, John, David, and Bryan, oversee the organization and its subsidiaries and divisions. 

As a former Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Board Chairman and long-time Board member, Senator Kelly and his son, Board member Frank Kelly, III, have helped us to impact at-risk youth and create transformational change in underserved communities across the country. In 2010, as Board Chairman, Senator Kelly set a big goal to build 50 Youth Development Parks, multipurpose synthetic surface baseball fields, in five years. Today, the Ripken Foundation has 119 completed parks in 27 states, giving over 600,000 kids access to clean, safe places to play and learn. Senator Kelly and his family have supported many of the 19 Youth Development Parks built in Maryland, including two much-needed multipurpose fields in the Park Heights and Cherry Hill neighborhoods in Baltimore City.

"The Ripken Foundation impacts over 1.4 million kids each year, and we are so proud to be a partner in all of their programs on and off the playing fields that give kids opportunities," said Senator Frank Kelly, Jr.

Over the last 18 years, the Kellys have given us their time, talent, and treasure to set big goals for the Foundation to reach and accomplish. We are so honored that the Kellys selected us as one of their charitable partners. 

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  • Reach and Impact

    Reach & Impact

    In 2023-24, the Ripken Foundation collaborated with 824 local youth-serving partners and law enforcement agencies in 331 cities and towns in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Virgin Islands to impact over 1.4 million at-risk youth. The Ripken Foundation Portal, which gives mentors access to our program curriculum guides, impacted 495,252 of those at-risk youth. In addition, we now have 538 STEM Centers completed in 24 states giving over 227,795 kids the early exposure and hands-on opportunity to explore Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

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  • Mentoring

    Mentoring

    In 2023, 25,869 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 30,289 kids in 122 communities.

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  • 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.

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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!

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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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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