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06/09/2006 4:45 PM ET
Red Sox Scholars Class of 2006 to be introduced tonight at Fenway Park
Twenty-five middle schoolers will receive college scholarships from the Red Sox Foundation; Partnership includes Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, BELL and Boston Public Schools
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BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox tonight will introduce the Red Sox Scholars Class of 2006 in a ceremony on the field at Fenway Park prior to their 7:05 p.m. game against the Texas Rangers. The 25 Red Sox Scholars, who will enter sixth grade in the fall, are academically talented, financially challenged middle school students. Each will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, plus accrued interest, from the Red Sox Foundation.

The Red Sox Scholars program, which was inaugurated in 2003, now includes 100 students.

All of the students attend Boston Public Schools, and most are graduates of BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life), an academic enrichment program for elementary school students created by Earl Martin Phalen and chaired by Professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard Law School.

Each scholar will be escorted to the baseline by a Red Sox player and a medical mentor from BIDMC in tonight's ceremony. The first three classes of Red Sox scholars, who will enter seventh, eighth and ninth grade in the fall, will also join in welcoming this year's class along with their mentors.

The Red Sox Foundation, which receives funds from the club's partners, fans and corporate sponsors, funds the scholarships.

The scholars were chosen by a panel representing the Red Sox, BELL, and presenting sponsor Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

"Our hope is to fund the dreams of children," said Dr. Charles A. Steinberg, the Red Sox Executive Vice President/Public Affairs. "We want them to know that college is their destination, and the money's in the bank. We hope this gesture helps children resist the negative temptations they will encounter in adolescent life."

In addition to the scholarships, payable to the college of each student's choice for tuition and books upon matriculation, the Red Sox provide interactive educational and social activities for the children, including Shadow Days in the club's offices, and time spent with former and current players.

Beth Israel Deaconess provides 25 medical mentors, one for each student. The mentors are health care professionals or medical administrative personnel. BIDMC will also provide career information, Shadow Days, and additional services for the children.

A registered 501c3 charity, the Red Sox Foundation was created in 2002, immediately after the group led by Principal Owner John Henry, Chairman Tom Werner, and the team's partners purchased the Red Sox. Henry, Werner, President/CEO Larry Lucchino, and the team's partners generously funded the Red Sox Foundation by committing to provide more than $18 million over ten years, making it the largest professional sports foundation in New England and one of the largest in Major League Baseball. The Red Sox foundation is primarily focused on four areas, each of which has a marquee program based in Massachusetts:

Area of FocusMarquee Program
Children's HealthThe Jimmy Fund
 (the largest single recipient of Red Sox charitable contributions) Fighting children's cancer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Children's EducationRed Sox Scholars
 Ensuring college educations for children in Massachusetts
Children's RecreationCommunity Athletics Programs
 Teaching the lessons of life through baseball
Urban Social Issues Dimock Community Health Center
 Helping low income teens and families
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