Benefits Underserved Youth in Wellington Park
Horton’s Kids, a nonprofit that empowers children living in one of Washington, D.C.’s most at-risk neighborhoods to graduate high school ready for success, is hosting its 9th Annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids at Nationals Park on Wednesday, June 21.
The annual event provides a variety of family-fun activities, including a chance to bat from home plate and play catch in the outfield at Nationals Park, races with Nationals mascot President Teddy, a fast-pitch competition in the bullpen, Kid Zone activities and stadium fare buffet with open bar. Individual tickets are on sale for $250 and admission is FREE for children under 14. For more information on purchasing tickets and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.HortonsKids.org/HomeRuns/.
“Our goal is to empower the hundreds of underserved kids living in DC’s Wellington Park neighborhood and prepare them for success in all walks of life,” said Robin Berkley, executive director for Horton’s Kids. “Home Runs for Horton’s Kids allows us to continue our work and provide a safe place for kids to learn, play and grow. We are incredibly grateful to our many partners and supporters who will make the event a success.”
All proceeds from the event will provide under-resourced children in a Ward 8 community called Wellington Park with academic, youth development, and health and basic needs supports. The Wellington Park housing community is geographically isolated and has some of the highest rates of violent crime, gang activity and substance abuse in the city. A child growing up in this neighborhood is twice as likely to graduate from high school if they participate in Horton’s Kids.
Horton’s Kids was founded in 1989 by Karin Walser, then a Capitol Hill staffer. Late one night, Karin stopped at a gas station on New York Avenue, where several children who lived in a nearby homeless shelter offered to pump her gas for spare change. Instead of just handing them money, she offered to take them to the zoo the next weekend. In the ensuing weeks and months, Karin enlisted friends to join her in taking the children out on Sunday activities. Horton’s Kids followed the children when their families were moved from the homeless shelter to Wellington Park, a subsidized housing apartment complex in Anacostia.
Since that time, Horton’s Kids services have grown and evolved, but their commitment to meeting the complex needs of children living in Wellington Park has never wavered. In 2016, 443 volunteers contributed 4,163 hours of their time to Horton’s Kids efforts. Through Horton’s Kids programming, 90 percent of older youth participants are on track to graduate from high school and 94 percent of children improved their literacy skills.
Home Runs for Horton’s Kids is being made possible thanks to the generosity and support of many partners, including top sponsors General Motors, AT&T and Southern Company. Also lending their support to the event are Congressional Co-Chairs Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, Chairman Kevin Brady, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos and a Bipartisan Congressional Honorary Host Committee, including more than 160 congressional members.