Friends and fans launch crowdfunding initiative for life-saving heart surgeries through the works of the David Ortiz Children’s Fund
BOSTON, MA (July 19, 2016) – As David Ortiz continues his epic “farewell tour” and one of the most storied seasons of his career, friends of the Red Sox slugger are banding together to give Big Papi the ultimate retirement gift: donations to his David Ortiz Children’s Fund, which provides life-saving heart surgeries for kids in his native Dominican Republic and adopted home of New England. Ortiz has made it known that his next chapter is focused on furthering his humanitarian legacy through the David Ortiz Children’s Fund and this call to action – dubbed “Big Papi’s Retirement Party”– is a way for friends and fans to honor and thank Big Papi for his legendary career on the field.
“Man, I can’t believe you guys thought of this,” Ortiz said last night at his fourth annual David Ortiz Children’s Fund Gala in Boston, where the nonprofit crowdfunding initiative was announced. “Everyone knows how much I love kids so this is the best retirement gift I could ever ask for – not that the custom cowboy boots the Rangers gave me weren’t great, but this is just something that is a bit more my style! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my efforts for these kids possible. Now let’s raise some dough!”
The initiative was kicked off at the gala with a $100,000 donation from New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, and from now until the close of Papi’s retirement season, fans are asked to donate to the David Ortiz Children’s Fund as a way of giving the famed designated hitter a touching sendoff as he says goodbye to his career on the field and looks ahead to his life’s work off the field. The goal is to raise $340,000 – chosen in honor of Ortiz’s signature #34 jersey – which will provide life-saving surgeries for an additional 68 children. To date, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund has helped save the lives of over 600 children here and in the Dominican Republic.
Giving also will have its perks. Fans who donate $25 will receive a limited edition “Big Papi’s Retirement Party” t-shirt and a $25,000 gift earns you a foursome and meal with the man himself at Big Papi’s official retirement celebration, the David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic, hosted from December 1-4, 2016, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Each year, over 2,000 children in both New England and the Dominican Republic are born with congenital heart defects (CHD) and will require surgery. The cost for this life-saving surgery is $5,000, a number that is staggering to many families. The David Ortiz Children Fund works withMassGeneral Hospital for Children and the World Pediatric Project in identifying children in need of this critical care.
Fans who want to contribute in honoring Big Papi with the ultimate retirement gift can donate at www.davidortizchildrensfund.org/retirementparty. Join in on the social media conversation by using the hashtags #InPapisName and #MakePapiProud and the handles @DavidOrtiz and @DavidOrtizFund.
ABOUT THE DAVID ORTIZ CHILDREN’S FUND:
The David Ortiz Children’s Fund provides critical pediatric healthcare to children in New England and the Dominican Republic. The David Ortiz Children's Fund has currently netted approximately $2 million, provided over 600 children with life-saving heart surgery in the Dominican Republic, and has helped countless others throughout New England region. In 2011, David Ortiz was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award by Major League Baseball for his work with the David Ortiz Children’s Fund. For more information, please visit: www.davidortizchildrensfund.org.
ABOUT MASSGENERAL HOSPITAL FOR CHILDREN:
With more than 300 physicians, 50 medical specialties and 15 surgical services, plus complete access to the resources of the world renowned Massachusetts General Hospital, MassGeneral Hospital for Children is dedicated to providing high quality, personalized, developmentally appropriate care for infants, children and adolescents. For more information, please visit: www.massgeneral.org/children.
ABOUT WORLD PEDIATRIC PROJECT:
World Pediatric Project is a non-profit organization linking pediatric critical care services to children in developing countries. As most developing countries lack access to pediatric critical care resources, WPP also focuses on building indigenous health care capabilities for improved future health care. Skilled professionals in these countries are able to learn these specialized pediatric procedures firsthand from the WPP's surgical and diagnostic teams. WPP's goal is to raise the level of care in their partner countries through an international network of medical partners to improve the lives' of children worldwide. For more information, please visit:www.worldpediatricproject.org.