Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Unity Health Care SW--1st 2010 Winter Caravan Stop

“Sacrificially giving of one’s time, talent and treasure in support of a worthy cause, I believe, is the glue that permanently holds our communities, our nation--even our world--together, as we have seen so prominently in Haiti," stated Franklin Baker, Board Chairman of Unity Health Care of Washington, DC.

Mr. Baker was standing before a packed and newly renovated Children's Reading Room at Unity's SW Clinic. The facility recently refurbished thanks to a cash gift donation by The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation and delivered through volunteer work by Our Washington Nationals Ballpark Operations and Front Office Staff. "Unity could not sustain itself without the selfless support, as well as the partnership with organizations like The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, The Heart of America Foundation and Rebuilding Together of Washington, D.C.,” concluded Mr. Baker.

For the second year in a row, The Washington Nationals Winter Caravan kicked off with a visit to The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation's latest Neighborhood Initiative Project. Unity Health Care, just a few short blocks from Nationals Park was chosen as the needy recipient of carpentry, painting and renovation work. Back in December 2009, you may recall how 35 Nationals Staff Members gave their free time for two days--a few weeks before Christmas--to deliver a deserving gift toward this organization in need.

Today, Our Manager Jim Riggleman, Pitchers Drew Storen & Ryan Speier, Infielder Danny Espinosa and MASN Broadcaster Rob Dibble visited Unity Health alongside Dream Foundation Chair, Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, and other local dignitaries. Our Washington Nationals officially completed the work with a generous donation of children's books to the new Reading Center--courtesy of Heart Of America.

D.C. Councilman, Ward 6--Tommy Wells: “This is a part of the partnership and a part of the civic responsibility that kind of marries with our baseball team--of course with the great Lerner Family--and everyone that is involved in what really makes for a great city. This civic partnership is wonderful. It’s a great symbol for all of us."

An attribute of note which Marla Lerner Tanenbaum believes touches the very essence of The Dream Foundation: "We determined a few years ago that we were not going to be fair weather friends, come for a visit and leave--especially in regard to our Neighborhood Initiatives. We are determined to be long-term partners with you.”

Over the course of last month's rehab project at Unity Health, two waiting rooms and the main hallway on the first floor were painted. Ramp access doors at the side of the buildings and a conference room were painted. Openly exposed wiring was secured with special molding and a reception desk was built in the OB Suite. A counter there as well. The Reading Corner was installed to complete the book corner in which The Heart Of America Foundation donated the books for children given today.

Franklin Baker: "Clearly, this volunteer project would not have been possible without the financial investment of The Dream Foundation. For that I want to say: Thank you so much! Thank you so very much for this shot in the arm! We also hope this is not just one stop on a tour. We hope this partnership will continue, and continue to find ways to make a difference in our community. And we hope people will become motivated by what you have done today. And for what you have done for the lives of the children, the youth, the families and our community here in SW Washington.”

At the conclusion of the formal press conference, Riggleman, Storen, Speier, Espinosa and Dibble stocked the books shelves, then proceeded--along with My Best Friend!! Screech!! to hand out "NatsTown" Tee-Shirts and Red Curly "W" Backpacks, while signing autographs to the patrons and children waiting for services at Unity Health Care's SW D.C. Facility.

Funny Quote Of The Event:

Vincent Keane--Unity CEO--was standing at the podium giving his remarks when he touched on Our Washington Nationals upcoming 2010 Baseball Season and directed this comment to Jim Riggleman:

“Jim, we are confident your coaching skills are really going to make us proud of our Nationals Team. We are not going to put a lot of pressure on you. (Pause, then deadpan) But, we would love a pennant coming to us!! (laughter) No pressure. No pressure.”

Important Note:
Danny Espinosa's wearing of Jersey Number 3 today is not indicative of Jesus Flores' status with Our Washington Nationals. Danny personally telling me that was his jersey number last year and that's what the team gave him to wear for the events. But he believes his number upon reaching the majors would be Number 8. For those of you keeping up with the numbers game at home--Storen wore Number 58, not #26--which he wore the night he signed his contract with Washington and threw out the first pitch at Nationals Park. Ryan Speier wore Number 46.

All Photos Copyrighted--Nats320--All Rights Reserved

1 comment:

Positively Half St. said...

SBF- Glad you cleared up the mystery of number 3. When we discussed it this afternoon at Hard Times, you seemed to be chewing it (tongue-in-cheek) like it was the most tasty conspiracy theory going.

This kind of stop is a wonderful thing for the team to do, and especially a great thing for the young guys, who will possibly be very rich some day, to have a taste of early.

I don't know if it is the best baseball hope, but I would love to see Ryan Speier make the team after his work on the Caravan.