When baseball coaches Martin Luther Mathews and the late Hubert “Dickey” Ballentine shook hands in 1960, they embarked on a shared dream that their teams would have a place to play that was just as safe and respectable as others in the St. Louis region.
The two men founded Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club, and since then, the organization has gained national attention, with visits from President Ronald Reagan during his time in office and Vice President Joe Biden in 2009. Today, Mathews-Dickey teaches more than 40,000 young men and women respect, restraint and responsibility through athletic competition and recreational activities.
Community support has played a key role in the club’s growth, and Perficient was honored to be a part of that longstanding tradition this week through our partnership with the St. Louis Rams.
On Tuesday, Oct. 28, some of Perficient’s marketing team took part in the NFL and United Way’s annual Hometown Huddle with the Rams and Rebuilding Together – St. Louis. The NFL-United Way partnership is a league-wide day of service designed to bring awareness and impact to the issues of education and youth engagement. Since 2009, the St. Louis Rams have spent more than 10,000 hours volunteering in the St. Louis community through the monthly Staff Day of Service program.
We took to the fields at Mathews-Dickey along with the players, staff and fans to help repaint bleachers, fencing and goal posts. Bill Fronczak, interim vice president of public relations and special events, told us that this kind of general maintenance goes a long way in supporting the club.
“It would be expensive to have to pay for repairs and general upkeep,” Bill said. “We rely heavily on volunteers to devote power, equipment and supplies to make this a reality and make it a beautiful place for the young people.”
As we put down our brushes at the end of the day, we had the honor of chatting with Mr. Mathews, a vigorous 89 year old who still plays an integral role in the club. He told us that volunteers help with so much more than the aesthetics of the complex; they also serve as role models for the youth.
Over the years, the club has become a source of community pride, and the ongoing goal is to provide a “facility that all of the kids will be proud of,” Bill said.
This year’s Hometown Huddle initiative came just in time for football season.
“The kids will be excited to see everything restored when they take to the fields,” Bill said.
And that’s something we’re grateful to have been a part of.
Read more on our partnership with the St. Louis Rams here and more about Perficient employees who are making a difference in their communities here.
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