The foundation will provide 44 grants every year to BGCA members across the country and on military bases who have shown talents in music, dance, art, science, literature or athletics."This new phase of Chasing the Dream will commence next year by supporting the dreams of 44 children each year, or annually, and it is our intention to have at least 44 in the program at any given time," Billye Aaron said. "Hence we come up with the name '44 Forever.' Now, you remember that because forever means forever, in perpetuity." The recipients will receive a $2,500 grant that can be renewed each year until the recipient graduates from high school.
"These awards will inspire and empower our youth," said Roxanne Spillett, the president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "And, perhaps, they may nurture a young scientific mind like Albert Einstein's, or the musical ability of a Beethoven, the insightful speech of a Maya Angelou, or even the sure hands and mighty swing of a future Hank Aaron."
The HACDF was started by Aaron and his wife in 1994, and in the last 10 years, HACDF has given more than 755 grants to deserving youth.
HACDF will continue to function as a foundation supplying grants to other grant recipients who are separate from The Major League Baseball Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Program. This includes programs now in existence in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Mobile, Ala., and Milwaukee.
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.