When a major leaguer retires from the game that brought him success and a livelihood beyond anyone's comprehension, he still has a whole life in front of him to live. Some guys leave an amazing legacy behind on the field, but an even bigger opportunity to impact others awaits him if he is willing.
Mariano Rivera is willing and frankly, it's his actions off the field that mean the most to him. For Rivera, it's all about his family and community who he missed for 24 years while he was busy being a baseball player. He has dedicated the next half of his life to taking care of people, young and old, who need assistance, faith and a chance to realize their dreams.
On Thursday, August 7th, the MVP Foundation and the Trenton Thunder honored the future hall of famer for his philanthropic work and we were there to cover the event. Rivera, through his foundation, has given young people scholarships, his home town of Panama a church, school and community center, a children's center in Puerto Rico, an orphanage in Mexico, meals for HOPE Community Services (the largest provider of emergency food services in Westchester County) and a church to a community of people in New Rochelle, NY, a Pentecostal congregation led by his wife.
Founded by the Trenton Thunder's official chiropractor Dr. Tom Haveron in 2011, The MVP Foundation supports the health and wellness of young people by empowering them to go to college and providing assistance and training to people in need. The MVP Foundation partners with a number of community service organizations and chose Mariano Rivera and his foundation as this year's honoree for the 4th annual celebration at the Thunder. The foundation presented Rivera with a $50,000 donation to support his philanthropic projects.
Through The Mariano Rivera Foundation, the New York Yankee prolific closer has a number of past and present projects that support communities of people both here and overseas. These projects include the renovation of the Refuge of Hope, a 107-year-old church, which was all but condemned before the Rivera Foundation came in and made the necessary repairs.
Now the newly renovated facility is a functional parish with future projects planned to serve young people including a community center filled with technology to support our future leaders.
Spending the evening with Sandman I learned his thoughts on his son, who was recently drafted by the Yankees, and his advice for young people who look to join the game that served him so well.
We here at BYB have always been awed by Mariano Rivera's on-field performance, and we knew he was making a difference in the lives of others in his after-the-game life. However, to meet him and read about him in a context separate from his MLB records, Rivera's reach is far more than we could ever report here. I urge you to read more about Rivera's impact on the local, national and international communities served by his foundation, through the links provided in our piece.
We thank the Trenton Thunder for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of their HOPE week event honoring Rivera and look forward to keeping an eye on prospects and other events at the Double A team who prepares our future Yankees for the big leagues.
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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