(ZANESVILLE, Ohio) – Attorney General Mike DeWine visited a session of Badges for Baseball in Zanesville today, praising the efforts of the local organizers and participants. Last April, Attorney General DeWine and Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. announced that the program for youth 10-14 would be starting in Ohio in Zanesville, Canton, and Youngstown.
"It's exciting to see this program gear up and get kids and law enforcement involved together," said Attorney General DeWine. "This is a proven program that is not only going to be a great benefit to the kids involved but also the communities of Zanesville, Canton, and Youngstown. And, we're hoping to expand the program to other Ohio cities in the future."
Badges for Baseball was created by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice to help at-risk youth and prevent juvenile crime. By pairing police and kids together playing baseball and softball, the program builds new relationships between youth and law enforcement. It reached more than 26,000 youngsters in 16 states last year.
Attorney General DeWine brought the program to Ohio through the Ohio Attorney General's Office commitment of almost $170,000 over two years to complement the $158,000 in goods and services being provided by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Funds from the Attorney General's Office come from fines and penalties received by the Office's Charitable Law Section through its enforcement activities that ensure that monies raised by non-profits in Ohio go for charitable purposes.
In Zanesville, the Zanesville Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Muskingum County Sheriff's Office are presenting the program. Big Brothers Big Sisters received $20,000 from the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. The Muskingum County Sheriff's Office, which will provide at least two deputies for each session of the eight-week program, received $5,000.
Badges for Baseball in Zanesville is offered at the Zanesville Civic League on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. through July 31. It's also available on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon, or 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., through Aug. 1 at the Zanesville Metropolitan Housing Singer Center. Call Big Brothers Big Sisters at 740-453-7300 for participation information.
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller -- 614-466-3840