By Olivia Pavlish and Caleb Holt, JP4 Foundation Interns
“Our mission is to make play accessible to everyone,” said Taylor Burke, a Marketing Specialist for Paul’s Pals in Minnetonka. “The JP4 Foundation’s mission is to make baseball accessible to everyone. Our missions align, but the JP4 Foundation is more specific and a great support system for us.”
Paul’s Pals started in 1996 in honor of Paul Adelman, who died because of brain tumors shortly after he turned 12. The mission of Paul’s Pals is to advance inclusion in everyday adventures for children of all abilities. Their focus is providing grants to different organizations. To date, they have raised a total of $1.6 million. These grants are used to invest in people and projects that benefit life and learning for kids with special needs. Paul’s Pals offers these grants in memory of Paul’s life. “We want to honor the things that brought him joy,” said Burke. “They recently began a group of events for families involved with sports called the Super Series. One of these sports is baseball.”
The Super Star Classic is a baseball-focused event at CHS Field, home of the Saint Paul Saints. This year, one of the partners for this event was the JP4 Foundation. Families came to participate in this clinic before the Saint Paul Saints All-Star game. Paul’s Pals focused on the inclusivity of the event while the JP4 Foundation helped to provide coaches. The goal of this event was for all members to understand that disabilities do not inhibit the ability of the children to play with one another. Saint Paul Saints players took part in activities with the families during the clinic and invited the kids to join them on the field at the start of the Saints All-Star game.
“Jeff and the JP4 Foundation are a great resource and partner for us,” said Burke. The next Super Star Classic has not been scheduled but the two organizations are working on the next cooperative event within the next year.