click to donate

Go Hartford!

Mayor Mike's Foundation for Kids

Since 2009, Go Hartford! Mayor Mike's Foundation For Kids has been paying tribute to the late mayor of the Insurance City, Mike Peters, by continuing his commitment to youth programs in the city, particularly for disadvantaged residents of urban neighborhoods where municipal money programs has been steadily drying up. Our goal is to have as many baseball, basketball and soccer leagues in the city as are necessary to meet the needs of Hartford's children.

Launched by Mayor Peters' son, Christopher, along with daughter Michelle, nephew Paul and niece Bethany, the foundation, and the Go Hartford! motto embrace the idea that Hartford is, and will continue to be, a thriving city in the 21st century. Educational and recreational programs for children are central to that success. Through organized baseball, basketball and soccer programs, we reach more than 1,000 children in the city each year and teach them to become involved in the community. We hope the community pride we feel is shared by everyone who participates in the programs we support.

Donations from the Mayor Mike's foundation, totaling approximately $10,000 a year -- go directly to league play. Our sporting leagues help children to learn and grow, and to be proud of their city -- something Mayor Mike always encouraged. Bilingual families are encouraged to attend and participate in games, and children of various cultural backgrounds are taught to work together in a friendly, cooperative environment. A small core group of volunteers numbers between 10 and 15 each year, with five serving on our board of directors and all involved in day-to-day field operations. No one in the organization draws a salary.

With a growing number of participants, teams, coaches and community volunteers, the Mayor Mike's Foundation for Kids has reached hundreds of city children by providing financial and coaching support for local baseball, basketball and soccer leagues. Baseball has been the primary focus this year, with the foundation working to finance registration fees, uniforms, umpires and equipment for players in two different leagues. Sponsorship is provided to the (unaffiliated) Mayor Mike Peters Little League and the Rago Coco League. In addition to league sponsorship, this past season the foundation sponsored six individual baseball teams at $600 apiece.

All in all, the foundation offers opportunities to more than 1,000 young athletes each year. And the good will of the foundation is catching on, with major corporations and local businesses joining in to support individual teams. The foundation hopes this support will continue to grow and that we are creating future generations of coaches and volunteers who will continue to recognize the importance of children's sports in developing a healthy community.

The Mayor Mike's Foundation for Kids also supports a Saturday Hoopsters program in the city that reaches out to more than 230 children ages 5 to 12. The foundation is expanding the league to the North and South Ends of the city, with the goal of operating a total of six leagues throughout the city. Charitable organizations including the Connecticut Whale Community Foundation will be encouraged to show their colors on the uniforms of local basketball and baseball teams in the coming seasons.

Any Hartford organization that needs support for local sports is encouraged to seek assistance from the volunteers at the Mayor Mike's Foundation for Kids. We are happy to pass on information and to assist financially when we can. We see improving the lives of Hartford's children as a team effort involving everyone in the city.

With volunteers and organizers taking no salaries, 100 percent of proceeds go toward children's sports programs. More than $35,000 in funds has been donated directly to children's sports programs. Across the board, these programs encourage good health, community participation and personal achievement for inner-city children and families who might not otherwise have the opportunity.

Raising money through an annual golf tournament each May at Goodwin Park in Hartford's South End and a huge spaghetti dinner each fall, to coincide with the late Mayor's birthday (Nov. 14), the foundation regularly draws dignitaries including current Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, city council members, business leaders and media personalities to contribute to the cause. These two events are the major one-day fund-raisers for the organization, while correspondence with donors throughout the year brings in additional dollars.

In June of 2010, news of the newly formed Mayor Mike's Foundation for Kids reached a group of women known as the South End Nine. The women teamed up to organize a South End reunion party with former high school classmates, friends and local bands. The event raised $4,000 for the foundation. In the same spirit as the South End Nine, Mayor Mike's Foundation volunteers are known as “fun” raisers, for their commitment to providing entertaining events for their supporters. Volunteers are regularly seen at downtown Hartford events, promoting the cause.

Grants of any size are warmly received by the foundation and invitations to future events can be expected as a matter of course. We are pleased to see such widespread enthusiasm for youth sports in Connecticut's capital city. We think Mayor Mike would be proud.

Go Hartford!