BOSTON, MA— The Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation on Wednesday night honored 18 non-profits across six states in New England as the winners of the foundations’ 8th Annual IMPACT Awards, which for the third consecutive year is continuing its mission to support organizations that have demonstrated deep impact in raising awareness and improving the mental health outcomes in their community.
The IMPACT Awards give Red Sox fans the opportunity to nominate their favorite non-profits to receive support and funding. Through a $125,000 grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation, the awards provide the winning non-profits with either a first-place $10,000 grant, second-place $3,000 grant, or a third-place $2,000 grant. Eligible organizations with the most online votes from fans were the designated winners, with three non-profits selected from each New England state. The 2022 winners were as follows:
- Connecticut: Community Health Resources Inc. (first place); Jewish Family Service of Greater Hartford (second place); Abilis Inc. (third place)
- Maine: The Center for Grieving Children (first place); Sweetser (second place); The Northern Lighthouse Inc. (third place)
- Massachusetts: Girls on the Run Greater Boston (first place); House of Possibilities (second place); Adolescent Consultation Services (third place)
- New Hampshire: The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester (first place); The Webster House (second place); Marguerite’s Place (third place)
- Rhode Island: St. Mary’s Home for Children (first place); FRIENDS WAY (second place); SafeBAE Before Anyone Else (third place)
- Vermont: Camp Ta-Kum-Ta (first place); Grace Cottage Hospital (second place); NAMI Vermont (third place)
The winners were recognized in a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park on Wednesday, receiving their awards on the field alongside Ruderman Family Foundation Deputy Director Dr. Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim, Fenway Sports Group Partner and Boston Globe Media CEO Linda Pizzuti Henry, Red Sox Foundation Honorary Chairman Tim Wakefield, and Boston Red Sox Executive Vice President of Social Impact and Red Sox Foundation Executive Director Bekah Salwasser.
"Mental health continues to be an ever-growing epidemic, accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to once again be partnering with the Red Sox Foundation on our annual IMPACT Awards as we look to address and normalize the stigma associated with mental health across society throughout New England and beyond," said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. "Each one of this year’s IMPACT Awards winners have shown their commitment to carry out this important mission within their communities, and in recognizing and supporting these efforts, we hope others will be inspired to do the same."
Red Sox fans had the opportunity to nominate a non-profit in the mental health space from April 7 - April 20. After the finalists were named on May 2, online voting took place until May 31.
“Our society is facing a mental health epidemic that has only been exacerbated by the events of the past two years,” said Red Sox Foundation Executive Director Bekah Salwasser. “To help tackle this growing issue, we’ve partnered with the Ruderman Family Foundation for the third year in a row to deliver our IMPACT Award grants to organizations who are doing incredible work in the mental health space. This year’s awardees are out in their respective communities every day deploying resources and improving outcomes. We are proud to honor their work and to raise awareness for this critically important issue and to help fund the organizations who are on the front lines combatting it.”
Last month, the Red Sox Foundation and Ruderman Family Foundation together pledged support to combat the stigma surrounding mental health in sports. At a panel discussion on May 2, the foundations recognized the continuing mental health crisis and the unique platform the sports industry has to raise awareness and reduce mental health stigma. The event included opening remarks by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy, and Vice President and MLB Special Assistant to the Commissioner Billy Bean.