Boston Red Sox Foundation supports kids in Wheeler programs

Feb 08, 2019

The Boston Red Sox Foundation is philanthropically supporting programs for children and adolescents living in Wheeler’s community-based congregate care programs.

The two organizations have a long relationship; since 2003, the Foundation has provided youth from Wheeler the chance to attend Connecticut Day at Fenway Park, have lunch with the team, throw out first pitches, and—through philanthropy and player visits—supported the congregate care residential settings that Wheeler operates at multiple locations in central Connecticut. The Foundation was honored by Wheeler in 2015 as a Hands and Hearts recipient, Wheeler’s annual recognition for some of its most committed donors.

“We have a long history with Wheeler and are pleased to support their work to provide exceptional care and services to the people in our community who are most vulnerable to crisis or trauma, our youth,” said Red Sox Executive Director Bekah Salwasser. “We applaud them for the critical services they consistently deliver to the Connecticut community, and look forward to continuing this special relationship.”

“The Red Sox are true philanthropic partners for the work we do,” said Susan Walkama, LCSW, Wheeler president and chief executive officer. “We’re extremely grateful for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities the team provides for the children and adolescents in our care. The annual Connecticut Day games—meeting the team, throwing out the first pitch—are always the highlight of the year.”

Wheeler's Congregate Care services provide supportive and consistent home-like environments to meet the unique needs of children and youth referred by the Department of Children and Families. Three of Wheeler’s programs provide a long-term, supportive and consistent home-like environment for adolescent children challenged with significant trauma histories, emotional and behavioral challenges, and relational difficulties. The goal is to provide stability, sensitivity and opportunities to help youth develop effective interpersonal and life skills. 

Two additional crisis stabilization programs provide short-term, out-of-home treatment option that provides crisis stabilization and assessment for DCF-involved youth or adolescents who need immediate intervention during an emotional or behavioral crisis. Youth are offered a safe and secure place to stay while clinicians work with them and their families to stabilize their situation.

About the Red Sox Foundation

The official team charity of the Boston Red Sox, the Red Sox Foundation has donated to over 1,680 organizations since its creation in 2002, and focused on making a difference in the lives of children, families, Veterans, and communities in need by improving their  health, education, and recreational opportunities. Through partnerships with best-in-class organizations in healthcare, the Red Sox have helped raised over $135 million for cancer treatment and research for The Jimmy Fund, supported more than 15,000 Veterans and their families suffering from the “invisible wounds of war” with the Home Base Program, and helped the Dimock Center serve over 17,000 patients annually with health and human services. The Foundation’s self-run education and youth baseball programs have helped 274 Boston Public Schools students with college scholarships, and promotes healthy choices and valuable life skills to more than 700 urban youth annually through its RBI baseball and softball program. 

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Red Sox Foundation raises funds through special events, corporate sponsorships, and grants. Founded and initially funded by Red Sox Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, President/CEO Emeritus Larry Lucchino and their partners, the Red Sox Foundation has won numerous awards for the impact of its innovative programs. In 2010, the Foundation’s Red Sox Scholars program was recognized by Major League Baseball with the first-ever “MLB Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropic Excellence.” In 2009, the Red Sox Foundation was honored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Sports Philanthropy Project with the Patterson Award as the nation’s “Best Team Charity in Sports.”  For more information about the foundation, visit

Wheeler Clinic

Wheeler provides comprehensive solutions that address complex health issues, providing individuals, families and communities with accessible, innovative care that encourages recovery, health and growth at all stages of life. Our integrated approach to primary and behavioral health, education and recovery creates measurable results, positive outcomes and hopeful tomorrows for more than 30,000 individuals across Connecticut each year.  
Learn more: