Ryan Howard creates philanthropy

Philadelphia Inquirer
Stephan Salisbury

(June 18, 2009) - Ryan Howard came to Hunting Park yesterday not to bury it but to praise it.

"Seeing the look on these kids," the Phillies first baseman said, gazing around at swarms of upturned, eager faces, "that's what it's all about for me: giving back."

What brought Howard to a scruffy, much-used ballfield near the southern boundary of the 87-acre North Philadelphia park was the announcement of the creation of the Ryan Howard Family Foundation.

The philanthropic organization's first officially announced grant will be $50,000 toward revitalizing Hunting Park, plagued by crime, lack of maintenance, poor lighting, and deteriorating facilities.

The Fairmount Park Conservancy, the park's nonprofit fund-raising arm, has already initiated planning for revitalization involving the surrounding communities. A master plan for restoration and improvements will be released in September.

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