Starting this season, the Aberdeen IronBirds (Short Season A; NY-Penn League) will enter into a multi-year partnership with Race Against Abuse of Children Everywhere (RAACE). The pact between the IronBirds and RAACE, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating child sexual abuse, aims to provide a safe and family-fun experience both at the ballpark and in the local community.
The two-year collaboration includes a RAACE-branded redesign and upgrades to the Ferrous & Friends Kids Zone at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, as well as various fundraising opportunities each season.
As a member of the RAACE SuperHero program, the IronBirds will support the nonprofit organization with fundraising efforts and help generate awareness throughout Minor League and amateur baseball. The RAACE SuperHero program is designed for those who feel strongly about the organization’s mission and are willing to go the extra mile by donating their resources to share RAACE’s message and influence others to join the cause.
“The IronBirds, including their owners, Cal and Bill Ripken, have been tremendous supporters of our cause and we are thrilled to be able to expand our relationship with them via this partnership,” said Brad Brickel, executive director of RAACE. “In order to prevent child abuse, it’s important for parents to be aware of the shocking statistics, learn how to recognize the signs and most importantly, talk with their children.”
In addition to supporting as a RAACE SuperHero, the IronBirds will don special RAACE-themed jerseys during three home games throughout the upcoming season. The jerseys will be auctioned off at the end of the season, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting RAACE.
“As a family-oriented organization, the IronBirds firmly believe in creating a safe and fun environment for our young fans,” said IronBirds general manager Matt Slatus. “We are proud to stand with RAACE in support of their mission and to help bring additional public awareness and educational opportunities to their cause.”
Young fans are invited to enjoy the new and improved Ferrous & Friends Kids Zone presented by RAACE, which will feature innovative batting and pitching tunnels where kids can compare their baseball skills to that of former IronBirds players and current Baltimore Orioles, as well as the addition of three new inflatable activities. RAACE representatives will also be onsite to share resource materials with parents, as well as prizes and promotional gifts with kids.
RAACE’s mission is to raise public awareness about the prevalence of child sexual abuse, provide access to information and tools for how to prevent it and, in turn, eradicate the epidemic by inspiring others to stand up against abuse by joining our movement. Kids and families registered for the IronBirds’ Ferrous & Friends Kids Club will receive free resources on the dangers of sexual abuse and how to stay safe. Fans can register for the Ferrous & Friends Kids Club, a completely free program, online at www.IronBirdsBaseball.com.