PRINCETON, N.J., June 20, 2017- The San Francisco Giants Community Fund, The Moyer Foundation, and PeacePlayers International have been selected as 2017 winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Sports Award. The winners will receive a $7,500 cash award and will be honored at a September 13, 2017 ceremony at the RWJF headquarters in Princeton, N.J.
The three recipients have been awarded this honor for their innovative and influential approaches to using sports to improve the Culture of Health in their communities. Approaches include: using baseball as a forum to encourage education, health and violence prevention; utilizing physical activity and sport to provide comfort, hope and healing to children and families affected by grief and addiction; and using basketball as a vehicle to unite divided communities.
Past winners include the Chicago Fire Foundation, MLSE Foundation, Tony Hawk Foundation, Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, Doc Wayne and InnerCity Weightlifting.
"Congratulations to these organizations and their fun (or joyful or creative) approaches to building healthier communities," said Richard Besser, RWJF President and CEO. "This year's winners inspire packed stadiums, provide comfort to grieving children and form international friendships. Each effort demonstrates the passion for community that will make our country stronger."
Below are the winners in each category:
A professional sports team community relations department or foundation:
The Giants Community Fund, collaborates with the San Francisco Giants by using baseball as a forum to encourage underserved youth and their families to live healthy, productive lives. The Fund supports Junior Giants leagues throughout Northern California, Nevada and Oregon and provides assistance to targeted community initiatives in the areas of education, health and violence prevention. Junior Giants is a free, noncompetitive, co-ed baseball program for 25,000 underserved children that offers youth a chance to learn the basics of baseball during the summer while also discovering the importance of essential life skills.
"It isn't every day that we get to share the excitement and joy and challenges of our work on the national stage," said Sue Petersen, Executive Director, Giants Community Fund. "The Giants Community Fund is extremely proud to be a recipient of the RWJF Sports Award and we feel privileged to have such vibrant partnerships to advance the culture of health in our communities today."