FREDERICK, MD-The Frederick Keys, Advanced-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles are excited to announce the recipients of Frederick Keys Care Grants for 2017-18. Keys Care supports local non-profits who provide direct aid to disadvantaged youth and young adults in Frederick County. Set up in 1999 as the Joel A. Stephens Memorial Fund, Keys Care honors the memory of former Orioles minor leaguer Joel Stephens, who passed away in 1998 due to colon cancer. Only 22 years old at the time of his death, Stephens was known for his kind-hearted nature and his devotion to helping others in the community.
The Frederick Keys Care Fund is part of the Community Foundation of Frederick County's Universal Grant Application funding program that takes place in the fall of each year. Non-profits groups who provide direct services to Frederick County youth can apply on behalf of their programs.
Since Keys Care was established, more than $70,000 has been awarded in grants to local youth-based organizations. This year's grant amount of $5,000 will be distributed among four different groups.
Advocates for Homeless Families: A program that supports approximately 30 children from ages 3-14, Advocates for Homeless Families is a transitional housing program that assists children whose families have experienced or who are at risk of homelessness. After school activities are provided for children to add a sense of normalcy to their lives. Some supervised activities include tennis, karate, cooking and dance. Pool passes for City of Frederick pools are given to all children. Keys Care grants will support fees, pool passes and costs associated with various programs and camps ($1,000).
Blessings in a Backpack: This provides weekend backpacks of food to children from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade who depend on school meals as their primary source of food from Monday-Friday. In 2015-16, Blessings in a Backpack also began assisting special needs young adults. These 18-21 year olds have recently received high school certificates and are learning life skills in order to live independent and productive lives. Keys Care funds will assist with backpack costs for 17 students ($1,000).
Heartly House: A non-profit group which has provided services to victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and child abuse for almost 40 years in Frederick County. Heartly House offers comprehensive services for victims including a 24-hour hotline, crisis interventions, emergency shelter, safety planning and counseling among other services. Dr. Monica Pentony specializes in working with families and children affected by trauma and assists in the healing process. Funds will assist with a variety of therapy techniques ($1,000).
Student Homelessness Initiative Partnership (SHIP) of Frederick County: Keys Care will support the New Horizons summer program. This helps homeless FCPS students gain resources to graduate from high school, provides economic support and work force learning access. The New Horizons curriculum also provides additional academic and enrichment activities. Success rates for the New Horizons program have been positive, with 92% of students completing the program in 2017 ($2,000).
Organizations who were selected for Keys Care funding are invited to attend the annual Frederick Keys Care Charity Golf Classic. Fund recipients will also be honored prior to a 2018 Keys game.
For more information on applying for a Keys Care Grant or to learn about ways to donate to Frederick Keys Care, fans can contact the Community Foundation of Frederick County at 301-695-7660, by visiting frederickcountygives.org or by visiting frederickkeys.com and clicking on the community tab.
The Keys will be celebrating their 30th anniversary in 2018. For more information about ticket plans, fans can contact the Keys groups department at 301-815-9900. The Frederick Keys kickoff their home schedule on Thursday, April 12 against the Potomac Nationals at 7:00 p.m. To follow the Keys all offseason, fans can visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.