To the Editor:
On behalf of the Bayonne Cal Ripken Baseball League, I would like to thank everyone for contributing to our fourth “Make A Kid Smile” campaign.
When I first formed the “Make A Kid Smile” campaign, I had no idea that it would turn into something so spectacular. It all started when I sent a mass email to all the families in the Bayonne Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Baseball Leagues, asking if they could help me make some kids smile during the Christmas season. What I was hoping for was to raise a few hundred dollars in donations with the intentions of taking some kids who could use the help to get some free sneakers. Instead, the incredible outpouring and caring from our Ripken and Ruth families has helped turn this into an annual extravaganza. As a result, people from all over, even as far away as Florida, have opened their wallets but more importantly, they opened their hearts to the greatest gift in the world, the kids.
This year, we were able to partner with Modell’s Sporting Goods in Jersey City. They made a significant donation to the cause, along with the Bayonne Police Benevolent Association to help get things started. Donations, as they have before started to pour in from everywhere. Two parents in our league donated their Giants and Knicks tickets, and we were able to raffle them off in several establishments (The Rock, Big Apple, Clarks, John’s Midtown Tavern, and DiGiorgio’s).
Many helped us raise $4,910. On Dec. 18, we took 49 kids on a shopping spree over to Modell’s. The smiles from the kids were priceless, and the stories of how we touched some of their lives left us with tears in our eyes and memories we will never forget.
A special thanks goes to a few of the parents in our league who continuously make large donations every year – to my friend Jen from Lapinski Photo, who spent the entire day as she always does taking awesome pictures; my fellow board members from the Bayonne Cal Ripken Baseball League who helped me on this special day, and anyone who either donated or helped in any way, or provided encouraging words of support, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. God bless and thanks for helping to make some kids smile.