In the summer of 2021, Gene Marra, president of Cooperstown Distillery, was introduced by colleagues at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to the team at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, and a philanthropic relationship was born.
“The foundation’s mission to strengthen America’s most underserved and distressed communities by supporting and advocating for children struck a chord with me, and I knew right away that we wanted to support its efforts in any way we could,” said Marra.
That support started with aiding fundraising efforts by providing in-kind contributions and gifts for a foundation event and grew to more regular and coordinated support. Now, for a designated period each spring and fall, Cooperstown Distillery helps raise awareness of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation by tagging bottles with the foundation’s logo. The distillery also works to share the foundation’s message throughout the year and solicits donations directly from its customers during the holiday season.
Steve Salem, president, and CEO of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, said, “Cooperstown Distillery has been a wonderful and generous partner to us and we are excited to continue working together. In addition to the obvious connection between the distillery and our co-founder, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr., Gene and his team’s eagerness to tell our story and help us raise critical funds is greatly appreciated.”
“At Cooperstown Distillery, we embrace the same values that Cal Ripken Sr. embodied as a devoted coach and mentor: leadership, work ethic, personal responsibility and healthy living,” said Marra. “That is why we proudly support the foundation and its efforts to create safe opportunities for youth in need to develop valuable life skills, build character, connect positively with local law enforcement, and learn how to make productive choices for their future.”
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