Camp Ta-Kum-Ta wins Red Sox grants addressing mental health in New England

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Camp Ta-Kum-Ta wins Red Sox grants addressing mental health in New England

Tue, 06/21/2022 - 3:54am -- tim

Dan Osman, Director of Development at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, presented with the organization's first-place award for Vermont at Fenway Park. Credit: Rachel O’Driscoll/Boston Red Sox

IMPACT Awards, presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, support organizations raising awareness and improving outcomes surrounding mental health

Vermont Business Magazine Camp Ta-Kum-Ta last Wednesday night received the $10,000 first-place award in Vermont as part of the 8th Annual IMPACT Awards, a joint initiative of the Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, which for the third consecutive year is continuing its mission to support organizations that have demonstrated a deep impact in raising awareness and improving the mental health outcomes in their community.

One of 18 winners across six states in New England, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta provides challenging, extraordinary experiences in a safe and loving environment for children who have or have had cancer and their families free of charge.

Along with traditional camp activities such as swimming, athletics, ropes course, and arts and crafts, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as rock climbing expeditions, hot-air balloon rides, formal dances, and lake cruises.

The IMPACT Awards gives Red Sox fans the opportunity to nominate their favorite non-profits to receive support and funding. Through a $125,000 grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation, the awards provide the winning non-profits with either a first-place $10,000 grant, second-place $3,000 grant, or a third-place $2,000 grant. Eligible organizations with the most online votes from fans were the designated winners, with three non-profits selected from each New England state.

Executive Director or Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, Dennis DePaul, said, “We are thrilled and humbled to be selected as the Vermont recipient of The Red Sox Foundation’s 2022 Impact Award. As Camp Ta-Kum-Ta reopens it’s in-person programs, our COVID-19 prevention strategies have proven to be costly. The $10,000 grant will not only help us keep our immunocompromised children safe, it will also enhance our ability to provide fun and joyful experiences. Our deepest appreciation to The Red Sox and Ruderman Family Foundations and the Vermont community that voted for us!”

The second-place winner in Vermont is Grace Cottage Hospital, which addresses the healthcare needs of its community, promotes wellness, relieves suffering and restores health. The third-place winner is NAMI Vermont, a statewide non-profit, grassroots volunteer organization comprised of people who live with a mental health condition, families, and advocates. It provides education, support, and advocacy on mental health issues.

The winners were recognized in a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park on Wednesday, receiving their awards on the field alongside Ruderman Family Foundation Deputy Director Dr. Hanna Shaul Bar Nissim, Fenway Sports Group Partner and Boston Globe Media CEO Linda Pizzuti Henry, Red Sox Foundation Honorary Chairman Tim Wakefield, and Boston Red Sox Executive Vice President of Social Impact and Red Sox Foundation Executive Director Bekah Salwasser.

"Mental health continues to be an ever-growing epidemic, accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted to once again be partnering with the Red Sox Foundation on our annual IMPACT Awards as we look to address and normalize the stigma associated with mental health across society throughout New England and beyond," said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation. "Each one of this year’s IMPACT Awards winners have shown their commitment to carry out this important mission within their communities, and in recognizing and supporting these efforts, we hope others will be inspired to do the same."

Red Sox fans had the opportunity to nominate a non-profit in the mental health space from April 7 - April 20. After the finalists were named on May 2, online voting took place until May 31.

“Our society is facing a mental health epidemic that has only been exacerbated by the events of the past two years,” said Red Sox Foundation Executive Director Bekah Salwasser. “To help tackle this growing issue, we’ve partnered with the Ruderman Family Foundation for the third year in a row to deliver our IMPACT Award grants to organizations who are doing incredible work in the mental health space. This year’s awardees are out in their respective communities every day deploying resources and improving outcomes. We are proud to honor their work and to raise awareness for this critically important issue and to help fund the organizations who are on the front lines combatting it.”

Last month, the Red Sox Foundation and Ruderman Family Foundation together pledged support to combat the stigma surrounding mental health in sports. At a panel discussion on May 2, the foundations recognized the continuing mental health crisis and the unique platform the sports industry has to raise awareness and reduce mental health stigma. The event included opening remarks by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy, and Vice President and MLB Special Assistant to the Commissioner Billy Bean.

BOSTON, MA, June 16, 2022 — Camp Ta-Kum-Ta