(Above) – Umpires Adam Beck, Clint Vondrak and Dan Iassogna take time out with kids like this one at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. (Photo Credit: Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Number of Build-A-Bears umpires have delivered since 2006
Umpires working games in Baltimore and in Cleveland took time out from the diamond to lift the spirits of kids undergoing treatment at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore and at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center in Cleveland – an UMPS CARE doubleheader.
The crew working the Baltimore Orioles-Toronto Blue Jays series with Dan Iassogna, Gabe Morales, Adam Beck and Clint Vondrak, spent the morning at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Meanwhile, Mark Wegner, Bruce Dreckman, Stu Scheurwater and Malachi Moore were at the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center.
The umpires delivered 100 Build-A-Bear furry friends to kids at each hospital, in addition to outfits for their new stuffed toys, activity books, crafts and baseball-styled stress balls.
Since this program started in 2006, UMPS CARE has delivered 20,565 Build-A-Bear furry friends to kids in hospitals across the country and in Canada.
One of the most important parts of the program is that the kids get to choose their new stuffed friend. When kids are in the hospital, they have little control over their daily schedules – what they can eat, who they can play with and when they can leave their room. The umpires give each child the choice of several stuffed toys, outfits and more.
At the visit in Baltimore, the kids also loved a surprise visit from the Oriole Bird!
All of us at UMPS CARE are grateful to the many supporters for this program, including Eisai which made the visit in Baltimore possible. We also wanted to thank UMPS CARE volunteer (and former board member) Dan McGinnis for joining us in Cleveland!
Thanks also to the staff members at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center and to photographer Ken Blaze, for capturing the special moments in Cleveland!
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