14th annual Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Aspire Gala

Jonathan Ogden and Gary Williams honored
Posted at 11:17 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 23:42:53-05

On Friday night the 14th Annual Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Aspire Gala brought in millions for youth athletics across the country.

The foundation raised a record $4 million for inner city youth across the country.

Sports legends Jonathan Ogden and Gary Williams were honored along with U.S. Marshal Johnny Hughes who works with Baltimore youth through the Badges for Baseball initiative.

"Kids and cops working together through the Ripken foundation to make the right choices and Cal Sr. Emulated that in his baseball players about hard work on and off the field," said Hughes.

Steve Salem, the President and CEO of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, said it warms his heart to see officers working with children to bridge the gap.

"We match up police officers with these kids and they play ball, and the police officer mentors and coaches the kids,” said Salem.  “Instead of the alternative that we see way too often."

Since 2009 the foundation has built 75 parks across the country, allowing over 460,000 inner city children to play ball on state of the art fields.

One of those fields a brand-new field for the James Mosher Baseball League in West Baltimore.

Michael Singletary, the James Mosher Baseball League Chairman, said having a partner like the Ripken Sr. Foundation realize their achievements is huge to the community.

"We really not trying to teach or send players to the major leagues,” said Singletary. “We just really trying to teach kids to be community leaders, educators, or just be a positive role model within the community.”

The foundation will use the money raised to grow their number of parks built from 75 to 100 by next year.

To learn more about the foundation click here.