Kevin Harvick and Ripken Jr. Unveil Multi-Purpose Youth Development Park

Kevin Harvick today continued his commitment to supporting his hometown of Bakersfield, Calif., when the Kevin Harvick Foundation and Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation opened a multi-purpose Youth Development Park in the city.

Sport superstars Cal Ripken Jr. and Kevin Harvick cut the ribbon to unveil the Kevin Harvick Foundation Park, which will provide a clean and safe environment in which local youth can play, learn and grow. The Bakersfield facility marks the second collaboration between the two organizations, which commenced their alliance by opening the Kevin Harvick Foundation Park in Greensboro, N.C., in November 2015.

"The Kevin Harvick Foundation once again is honored to partner with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to provide an amazing facility for so many underserved children to develop physically and mentally," Harvick said.  "Sports played a pivotal role in my youth and development later in life, and I am looking forward to seeing these children derive the same benefits from this facility, particularly the ones who wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to play and let loose in such a clean, safe atmosphere." 

Much like the Greensboro park, the Bakersfield state-of-the-art facility is designed for multi-sport use, featuring four outdoor fitness stations, a rubber track surface circling the field's perimeter and a digital scoreboard.  The park, a gift to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Kern County, will be maintained by the organization, with whom the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and Kevin Harvick Foundation will collaborate to create and implement character education programming and clinics for the children who utilize the facility.

Guest speakers at Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony included: Ripken, Baseball Hall ofFamer and Ripken Foundation vice chairman; Harvick, 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and Kevin Harvick Foundation co-founder; Harvey Hall, Bakersfield Mayor; Jason Cohen, former President of Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Kern County; Vanessa Emo, President, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Kern County; and Steve Salem, President, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

Following the ceremony, the group christened the new Kevin Harvick Foundation Park when Ripken, Harvick and the children hit the field for a Quickball clinic - a fast-paced, easy-to-learn version of America's pastime.

"We are thrilled to have another opportunity to collaborate with the Kevin Harvick Foundation and continue to provide a safe place for our youth to play and learn," Ripken said. "It's very rewarding to unite with such a like-minded organization toward a greater cause. Together, we can continue to expand our reach and make a difference for kids everywhere."

The Bakersfield park marks the 52nd Youth Development Park completed by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation for use by Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. The Kevin Harvick Foundation assists in funding the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, as the two charitable organizations share the common goal of supporting underprivileged youth across the United States in various ways.

During the last five years, the Ripken Foundation has developed more than 50 multi-purpose turf facilities in 16 states, impacting more than 220,000 youth. Since 2009, the Ripken Foundation has had presence in numerous communities throughout North Carolina through its Badges for Baseball law enforcement youth mentoring programand Youth Development Park initiative. In addition to Kevin Harvick Foundation Park, the Ripken Foundation has three Youth Development Parks in use by youth-serving organizations in Charlotte, Greenville and Raleigh - two of which are adaptive fields to provide children with special needs a safe place to play and grow.

Kevin Harvick Foundation Park marks the second Ripken Foundation Youth Development Park in California, joining LA Dodgers Dreamfield adaptive field.

Kevin Harvick Foundation PR
Speedway Digest Staff

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