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Family makes impact on city's youth to carry on legacy of Baltimore gun violence victim

Sebass Foundation started for Sebastian Dvorak
Posted at 6:31 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 23:33:46-04

BALTIMORE — "There's no closure for people who go through what I go through," said Lisa Richard.

On his walk home from celebrating his 27th birthday, her son's like was taken from him on the streets of the city he loved. After Sebastian Dvorak, lovingly known as Sebass, was robbed and killed in Canton in June of 2017, his parents and friends vowed to keep his memory alive.

"You have to turn it into something positive and that's the only way to make something of the tragedy that happened," said Richard.

Two months after his murder, they started the Sebass Foundation to carry on his passion by giving back to organizations that help the city's youth, particularly those most at risk.

"Our real goal is to really hit the under 16-year-old and provide them with opportunities that expand their world view so that as they are making decisions as they get older, they have a wider base," said Richard.

One of those organizations is Harlem Lacrosse Baltimore. They practice at James McHenry Elementary/Middle School during the school year, but the past two summers, the foundation has paid to send 27 students to a camp in Maine.

"It was my first time on an airplane. I was scary," said 8th grader Nevaeh Paxton. "I made a lot of new friends and I learned not to be afraid to try new things."

"Camp made me so much better than what I was when I first started three years ago," said 8th grader Asheara Thompson.

"It's important because there's a lot of people out here that don't get that chance to do that kind of stuff," said 8th grader Antwain Byrd.

Every organization they pick to support is in line with Sebastian's passions. Along with lacrosse, he played golf and loved the outdoors.

"He was happiest at the top of a mountain and just loved exploring outside," said Richard.

They partner with The Chill Foundation, paying for two years of a mobile classroom for around 50 Baltimore City kids to transport them to learn snowboarding for 6-8 weeks a season. They also pay for an additional golf coach for the First Tee Baltimore program, which allows more kids to be coached, leading towards a caddie academy, jobs and college scholarships. Finally, they sent 87 kids (half from the Calvert School and half from Hamilton Middle School) to spend a full day with the Outward Bound Baltimore, focusing on pairing private schools with city schools for programming. Additionally, they have added volunteers to the inner city schools through raising awareness and one of Sebastian's closest friends now works with Harlem Lacrosse further enhancing the impact.

The money that supports all of that comes from their annual golf tournament, which is this Friday at Rocky Point Gold Course. Richard hopes they can raise the most money yet to continue making an impact.

"I see the best way to kind of honor him is to keep loving the city and keep trying to help it be better," said Richard.