I saw in the paper that you took a group of 40 kids to a Red Sox Game. What motivates you to do that?
Thanks for asking, as I’d love the opportunity to discuss our commitment to giving back to the community at-large. For years, Jaffarian’s charitable efforts have been focused on supporting local youth organizations and efforts, especially those related to sports and physical activity. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, with members from many local communities including Haverhill, Methuen, North Andover and Andover, is just one of many local organizations that we have supported over the years.
This was a very special game. The opportunity to take 40 kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence to the game where Pedro Martinez was honored for his induction into the Hall of Fame and the ceremony retiring his number — 45— was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only for the kids, but also for us at Jaffarian. Pedro is only the second player born in the Dominican Republic ever to be inducted into the Baseball of Fame; and the ninth number retired in Boston Red Sox history. This was historical and to share this with local youth, especially local Dominicans, was truly magical.
Why was this event so important to Boston, the kids and the City of Lawrence? This event was very special to Red Sox Nation. Pedro had a big, positive impact on Boston and the greater Boston area; certainly for Hispanics, but especially for Dominicans. Lawrence is the city in the entire U.S. with the second largest Dominican population, with 21.4% of its population born in the Dominican Republic. It’s the city with the largest Hispanic population in Massachusetts with 73.8% of its population Hispanic, mostly of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent. It was a prideful day for Red Sox Nation and Dominicans everywhere. And who else was part of the ceremony, but Red Sox favorite David Ortiz (aka Big Papi), like Pedro, born and raised in the Dominican. I am proud to remind you that we also brought Pedro to Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion on July 3, 1998 (pictured below). He was also a three-time Cy Young Award Winner for best pitcher in the League, twice as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
It meant so much to these grateful teens evidenced by this heartfelt thank you note emailed from one member of the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club: “I was in tears yesterday and just thinking about it this morning, I feel like crying again! What a beautiful ceremony. Powerful at so many levels…I grew up playing baseball in the streets, with a stick and a water bottle lid, and to hear Pedro’s reflection yesterday was a real gift. Thank you for making it possible for us to be there. Definitely a day to remember. I just love baseball.”
As I told the reporter from the Lawrence Eagle Tribune , “I’m excited for them (the kids). I go back with Pedro a little bit. I delivered him a car after his first start at Fenway Park in 1998. He was a gentleman from Day 1. He was a special pitcher, too, which is why he’s having his number retired. This is a great day for a lot of people.”
As the headline in the Eagle Tribune read “Pedro Pride Running through Lawrence,” it was also a day of pride here at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion! We are proud to give back to the local community, provide fond memories for local youth and join in the celebration of the great tribute to Pedro Martinez. This is truly what life is all about — giving back, bringing hope and inspiration. Pedro did great things for Red Sox Nation and I believe we can all do our part.