Grand Kids Foundation Celebrates 10 Years of Giving Back
More than 500 of Curtis Granderson's family, friends, teammates and fans spent Monday (April 7) evening at the New York City Public Library on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan helping Curtis and his Grand Kids Foundation celebrate 10 years of outstanding and inspiring community service.
The Grand Kids Foundation, which began in 2007 with an emphasis on education and introducing youth to the great sport of baseball, has evolved into a multi-state charitable organization that aids youth development through a variety of education, physical fitness and nutrition focused programming.
“Over the past 10 years we have added all the different elements necessary to help a kid become the best individual they can from an education standpoint,” Curtis told MLBPlayers.com during the event.
Today, Curtis and his Foundation reach tens of thousands of kids from New York to his hometown of Chicago, and beyond through programs and events including Grand Giving, the New Balance Fitness Challenge, Citi Community Home Runs, as well as a variety of efforts to support and foster youth baseball across the globe.
“We may not produce the next MLB All-Star, but just to get kids interested in the sport is just one of the things the Grand Kids Foundation has been doing,” stated Curtis.
His stature among his fellow Players is well known. Curtis and Carlos Villanueva hold the highest elected offices in the Major League Baseball Players Association as the union's two Association Representatives. His peers have also twice honored him with the Players Choice Award as Marvin Miller Man of the Year (2016 and 2009) as the player whose excellence on and off the field most inspires them to higher levels of achievement. Several of his current Mets teammates were on hand to join this week's celebration, including Noah Syndergaard, AJ Ramos, René Rivera, Neil Walker, Travis d'Arnaud, Michael Conforto, Erik Goeddel, Jerry Blevins and Amed Rosario.
A tireless advocate for those in need, Curtis serves as an International Ambassador of Major League Baseball, was a National Ambassador of the White House's anti-obesity campaign, Let's Move!, and is a spokesperson for the Partnership for a Healthier America's Drink Up water initiative.
In 2009, Granderson authored a children's book, All You Can Be, which shares personal stories from his youth encouraging children to chase after their dreams. And, in 2012, Granderson made an initial donation of $5 million to his alma mater – The University of Illinois at Chicago – for the development of Curtis Granderson's Grand Kids Youth Academy at UIC. UIC contributed an additional $4.5 million for the project, which will serve Chicago's inner-city youth.
Given all that Curtis has been able to accomplish on and off the field over the past 10 years, it's no wonder 500 people turned out to support the efforts of one of the most philanthropic professional athletes on the planet. Curtis, as those in attendance know, not only talks the talk, but he walks the walk by leading the pack.
Here's to another great 10 years for Curtis and his Grand Kids Foundation!
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Watch Curtis provide his personal insight and memories during the first 10 years of the Grand Kids Foundation here.
Learn more by visiting the Grand Kids Foundation website.