Monday, June 20, 2011

PC returns to Citi Field thanks to the David Wright Foundation!

June 19, 2011

A little over a year after Project Coach youth made their first outing to Citi Field, Queens, NY, to witness a walk-off Mets victory against the San Francisco Giants, the program returned to the ballpark today to once again engage in a summer highlight-reel trip to see their idols play.

Spirits were high on the journey down I-95 as youth coaches were joined by Program Director Andy Wood and Coach Mike Dean, along with two Project Coach dads, who were able to celebrate Father's Day in style with their proud teens. The PC organization was particularly delighted to welcome Norris Gordon - Physical Director of the Flushing Clubhouse at the Boys Club of New York - and several of his youth participants, to join us on this special day. PC and BCNY will be collaborating on a week-long iteration of Project Coach programming in July at Camp Cromwell, NJ, and the day-trip served as a perfect opportunity for program staff and teens to form relationships ahead of the project.

Arriving in plenty of time to savour the awesome stadium, PC youth took in batting practice and made the most of the plentiful activities at Citifield, including the batting cages and pitching lanes, where aspiring baseball player and rookie coach Julian Santana showed off his skills to fellow coach Zach Johnson. After (several) trips to the concession stands and team store, the PC contingent took their seats in the sun for a tremendous afternoon of baseball from a perfect vantage point in left field.

Although the result didn't go the way of the Mets this year, who dropped the rubber game of the series against the visiting LA Angels despite a crowd-pleasing ninth-inning rally, our coaches left Citi Field in buoyant mood after an action-packed day of great baseball,  fun-filled entertainment, and - above all - excellent company. A key premise of Project Coach lies in the value of connecting youth in the program more closely to those critical individuals who are able to guide and lead them through the challenges that they encounter on the path to college and self-fulfillment, and relationship-forming trips such as the visit to the Mets game continue to serve as critical junctures in the social development of our youth.

We are once again indebted to the support, hard work, and generosity of Cathy and Ira at the David Wright Foundation for this incredible opportunity, and thank them for providing such an inspiring experience for our youth coaches.

Andy Wood
Program Director