Photo by Rachel Levitin
Some of you might have noticed this increased amount of red t-shirts, caps, and jerseys on the Metro yesterday. If you didn’t, then you didn’t see what I saw. When Red Sox Nation meets NatsTown, the ride from Chinatown to the ballpark is a never ending red sea (Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston pun intended).
As Boston preps to take on the 2009 World Champion New York Yankees in Beantown for Opening Day 2010 tonight, they spent Saturday afternoon in the District playing baseball against the team with the worst record in the Major Leagues last year.
Those standings didn’t deter the ticket buying public-at-large though. A crowd of 37,312 filled the seats of Nationals Park for the final game of the 2010 spring training season to see Craig Stammen take on the veteran force that is Tim Wakefield in this year’s Nationals Dream Foundation Classic.
Baseball played an excellent front for the true matter at hand on Saturday. The Nationals Dream Foundation Classic, usually played against the Orioles due to logistics and location proximity, is just one component of the Dream Foundation’s plan to gain foundation exposure in the DC community and beyond.
This is Marla Lerner Tanenbaum’s ultimate goal.
Tanenbaum got involved with the Dream Foundation shortly after her family assumed ownership of the Nationals Organization. The family was all-hands on-deck when then Nationals came into the picture, according to Tanenbaum. “This [the foundation] is what I knew I’d be good at, so I grabbed it for myself,” she said.
This year’s Dream Foundation Classic almost didn’t happen. There was a lot of talk between DC and Baltimore to make it work but no agreement could be met. Lucky for Tanenbaum and her team of dedicated workers, the Red Sox agreed to making the interleague exhibition match up and the game was played.
The Red Sox won the game (6-1, with Stammen being charged with the loss) but the day wasn’t as heart-wrenching for the Nationals organization as one might think. All proceeds made off the game will go to the Dream Foundation, which will help support each of the foundation’s cornerstone programs including: the Pediatric Diabetes Care Complex at Children’s National Medical Center, the Youth Baseball Academy, and the Neighborhood Initiative.
Photo by Rachel Levitin
Tanenbaum admits that there is always room for improvement. The foundation is still young and has aspirations of becoming quite the influential force in the DC area. Their biggest goal to date is simple – making some of their promises come true. “There’s been progress but we want people to see it. We want to built it,” she said.
What do you do when it’s hard to get people’s attention? Keep trying. There are many detailed attempts to reel in fans and have them learn more about the foundation and what they can do to join the effort. GreenUp day, the Dream Foundation Kiosk, the “green” garden roof-top above the food stands in Left Field are all visual cues to grab the attention of a fan’s wondering eye in between pitches, hits, and innings.
Are you a baseball fan planning to make countless trips to Nationals Park this summer? Or how about a good person looking to support a good cause over the next few months? The Washington Nationals are dedicated to promoting the work done by the Nationals Dream Foundation by hosting game day events as reminders.
Here are a few upcoming opportunities to lend a hand:
April 25 – Children’s Day and Text-to-Give Campaign
Fans are encouraged to donate $5 via their cell phone when the Nationals host the Dodgers. All proceeds will be used to build the Nationals Pediatric Diabetes Care Complex and Children’s National Medical Center.
May 8 – Washington Nationals Dream Gala
The annual gala will be held at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor. All proceeds will benefit the Nationals Dream Foundation.
July 30 – GreenUp Day
Nationals Staff members and community volunteers can participate in a day of service to improve the conditions surrounding the public grounds near and around the Anacostia River bank by cleaning it up together.
For more information regarding the Nationals Dream Foundation and how you can help the foundation improve the lives of children and families throughout the Washington Capital Region while assisting with the growth of baseball, visit the foundation’s website.
For more game day photos, visit The Chicago to DC POV.