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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — More than 20 athletes from Special Olympics Florida experienced what it’s like to be a major league ball player when they took part in a recent CVS Caremark All Kids Can Baseball Camp during Red Sox Spring Training.
Caption: Special Olympics Florida athletes celebrate in front of the Green Monster at a CVS Caremark All Kids Can Baseball Camp held during Boston Red Sox Spring Training. Joining them in the photo are Boston Red Sox assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez (on left in Red Sox jersey), Boston Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn (in rear center in Red Sox jersey), CVS Caremark community relations senior director Faith Weiner (light green shirt; standing in front), CVS/pharmacy district manager John McCarthy (with beard in back row) and CVS/pharmacy store manager Ed Cooney (far right in back row). Photo is courtesy of Jennifer Leigh.
The camp was a joint endeavor between two national, New England-based organizations — CVS Caremark and the neighboring Boston Red Sox — demonstrating a shared commitment to individuals of all abilities. Through the camp, the Florida Special Olympians had the opportunity to spend a day-in-the-life of a Boston Red Sox player.
At the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Baseball Camp, the athletes worked one-on-one in the batting cage with Boston Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn, took on-field batting practice with the coach, had lunch with Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, a team photo taken in front of the “Green Monster” with coach Colbrunn, and received T-shirts, Red Sox baseball caps and baseballs, as well as a backpack filled with “game day essentials” — all courtesy of CVS Caremark. The camp was part of CVS Caremark’s national philanthropic All Kids Can program, which focuses on helping children with disabilities.
“We have had a great relationship with the Red Sox, and over the last eight years, we’ve been able to provide the batting camp experience at Fenway Park to more than a thousand kids from across New England,” stated Eileen Howard Boone, SVP corporate communications and community relations for CVS Caremark. “This year, we were thrilled to be able to extend this program to Spring Training, so Special Olympics Florida athletes could participate in what we believe is a magical day.”
The athletes who participated in the CVS Caremark All Kids Can Baseball Camp hailed from Ave Maria, Cape Coral, Donnellon, Fort Myers, Naples, New Port Richey, Palm Harbor, Pinellas Park, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Tarpon Springs and Venice. They ranged in age from 6 to 37 years.