These funds will help support the sports programming through the introduction of baseball, health and nutrition in tandem with academic enrichment to a new and diverse group of children.
Newtown Connection, a program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties, is proud to announce a grant of $30,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to support Equity and Access. This grant is intended to provide greater inclusion to underrepresented populations in the Sarasota County area. Newtown Connection will use this generous funding to support its baseball and health & nutrition programming in the community of Newtown. This funding opportunity aligns perfectly with the mission of Newtown Connection as its mission is to provide a mechanism for professional athletes, both active and retired, to bring people together to create a culture of inclusivity and acceptance through Sports, Health, and Education, while providing an unwavering commitment to the youth of their respective communities. This funding will help Newtown Connection advance its mission.
Funding for this program is provided by the Vern Ruhle Memorial Fund, the Edward K. Roberts Fund, and the Walter Francis Conniff and Phyllis Sloat Conniff Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
Newtown Connection was founded in 2020 by neighbors, Ian Desmond and Vince Northfield. MLB player, Ian Desmond, has had the opportunity throughout his career to participate in a variety of youth development programs, making an impact across the country. Vince Northfield has extensive and diverse business experience managing global businesses across numerous industries. By taking Mr. Desmond’s knowledge of baseball, philanthropy and successful youth development programs and combining it with Mr. Northfield’s business acumen, financial understanding and experience creating scalable and replicable strategies, Newtown Connection was created in June 2020. With a focus on underserved youth, Newtown Connection looks forward to engaging underserved youth through a sports-based curriculum to provide them the tools and resources to be the next leaders of their communities.
“For an organization of our size, the significance of this grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota Country really can’t be overstated,” said co-founder, Vince Northfield. “It aligns perfectly with our mission of creating an inclusive sports culture and introducing America’s pastime to a new and diverse generation of young people. Newtown Connection was founded on the ideals of Equity and Access so we really couldn’t imagine a better partnership.”
Newtown Connection is an after-school sports and nutrition program that works in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. The program targets underrepresented children, ages 6-12, and provides them with baseball and health instruction, along with instilling important life lessons and providing trauma-informed mentorship. The program operates at the Newtown Estates Park Boys & Girls Club in order to directly target youth who would otherwise not have the means, access or ability to participate in a baseball program. Newtown Connection uses the Washington Nationals’ Youth Baseball Academy program model. This program model includes modified baseball activities that are inclusive and more about promoting a positive sports culture and instilling healthy habits than they are about hitting home runs. With this funding, Newtown Connection is well equipped to support a new and diverse generation of baseball players and future leaders in the community.
About Newtown Connection: Newtown Connection was founded in 2020 by co-founders Ian Desmond and Vince Northfield. Ian Desmond, a Sarasota native, spent his 17 MLB seasons not only performing on the field, but being involved in communities across the country through philanthropic work; largely targeted at youth development. Ian Desmond, a five-time Roberto Clemente nominee, wanted to take what he saw as the best youth development programs and bring them back to his hometown. After numerous meetings with neighbor, Vince Northfield, who brings an extensive career of business acumen and financial understanding, Newtown Connection was born. The program acts as an after-school baseball program but its mission is to provide an inclusive sports culture where sports, health and education intersect. By providing baseball instruction, health enrichment and trauma-informed mentorship, Newtown Connection seeks to not only introduce a new generation to the sport of baseball, but equip them to be the future leaders of their communities. For more information, visit www.newtownconnection.org.
ABOUT BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF SARASOTA AND DESOTO COUNTIES:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties have played an integral role in the lives of local youth for more than 50 years, providing daily programs and services to thousands of young people. The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota and DeSoto Counties is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The vision is to provide a world-class Club experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. For more information, visit www.bgcsdc.org or call 941-366-3911.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $520 million in more than 1,570 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $27.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $350 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.