While it may be summer vacation for area children, the Darol Rodrock Foundation is certainly not taking it easy. In fact, the Foundation has been keeping exceptionally busy, partnering with both the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC to reach out and improve the lives of area youth.
In late June, Darol Rodrock spoke to a group of young people alongside Dayton Moore through the “C” You At The “K” program. Moore, the senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager of the Royals, started the organization in January 2014 to benefit four major bases: youth baseball, families in crisis, education and faith-based programs and organizations.
Once a month during the Royals’ season, a dozen high-school students from six local organizations are invited to Kauffman Stadium to watch batting practice and receive a 30-minute character-building and leadership discussion from Moore and guests – all before being treated to dinner and a Royals game! In addition, each participant receives a signed copy of Moore’s book, “More Than A Season,” and T-shirt. The aim of these presentations is character building, focusing on these integral “c” qualities: care, character, coach, commitment, competitor, composure, comprehension, concentration, confidence and courage.
During June’s gathering, both Rodrock and Moore urged a dozen young baseball players to be the best person they can be, make good choices, avoid the temptations of the street and focus their energies on baseball or other extracurricular activities that are positive outlets in life. Then the students were encouraged to ask both gentlemen questions during a follow-up Q&A session.
“Darol had some very tough challenges to overcome as a child,” says Moore. “However, he allowed those challenges to shape him, motivate him and prepare his heart to help others. It’s an honor to partner with such an incredible man.”
The Darol Rodrock Foundation helped underwrite the worthy CYAK program, which reaches out to students in underserved areas of the city. Darol Rodrock found great joy in speaking to the young men in June and has plans to speak alongside Moore at several more such gatherings.
“It was such a great evening for me,” Rodrock says. “Just getting to meet those great kids and Dayton, who is one of the most charismatic men I’ve ever met. This sponsorship is so exciting. It focuses on kids, and it has a genuine leader at the helm. You can see why the baseball team is doing so well. Dayton motivates and inspires. It’s a truly incredible program.”
The collaboration with Moore’s stellar program is just part of what’s keeping the Darol Rodrock Foundation on the go. Through its continued partnership with Sporting KC, the Foundation will hold several events, including a three-hour soccer camp in August for 50 children in foster care. The evening promises to be a real “kick” – children will work on their soccer skills, tour the facility, meet Sporting KC players and more in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Throughout the year, there will be many additional opportunities for Rodrock Development and this championship team to partner up: Player appearances and autograph sessions, an interactive skills/drills session, and a club scrimmage.
These are just a few examples of the incredible, winning combination that’s resulted from the three-year collaboration that perfectly aligns these family-focused, award-winning enterprises. This partnership is a natural extension of what these organizations deeply value. Sporting KC events are a fun outing for families of all shapes and sizes – and now this championship team and the Darol Rodrock Foundation have the immense opportunity to help those in need of families themselves.
Started in 2014, The Darol Rodrock Foundation has allowed Darol Rodrock to dedicate his life to building a community for kids in foster care who don’t have the love of family or friends to lend them a helping hand.
While still in its infancy, the Foundation has made a big impact on Kansas City foster-care children. Darol Rodrock regularly talks to those in the system, sharing his own story and offering hope. Through his efforts, children have been given financial aid, school supplies, clothes and other basic necessities. Care packages have been sent to college-aged kids, while local foster children have enjoyed holiday parties, gifts and more.
And, excitedly, there are some big plans underway for 2016.