BOSTON -- For the ninth straight year, the Boston Red Sox and Lindos Sueños, presented by JetBlue Airways, sent American teens to the Dominican Republic, where they performed community service and played baseball alongside teammates from across the Dominican Republic. The teens, including 17-year-old Brady McEvoy of Dunstable, were honored during a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park on Saturday, Aug. 25.
After a nationwide search and interview process, McEvoy was selected as one of the 20 teen participants (10 American, 10 Dominican) in this year's program. The trip took place from July 25 to Aug 3. Program sponsor JetBlue donated roundtrip flights from Boston to Santo Domingo for all 10 American teens and members of the Lindos Sueños staff.
"The Dominican Republic is a beautiful island with a rich culture, making it a popular vacation destination, but it also has communities in need," said Ronda Ivy McLeod, regional marketing manager at JetBlue. "The Lindos Sueños program bridges the common appeal of baseball and community service and allows JetBlue to contribute directly to the people of the Dominican Republic through the volunteerism of these hardworking teens."
This year, the Lindos Sueños participants performed their community service in El Mamón de Guerra, a small village adjacent to the Red Sox Dominican Academy. While in El Mamón, McEvoy and his 19 teammates rebuilt a total of five homes over the course of just
"When I first saw the village I was definitely shocked because it's just a totally different atmosphere than anything I've ever seen in my life before. The minute we drove into the town was all I needed to be assured that everything we do here can make a difference. I knew we really had the power to make a difference in this town," said McEvoy.
McEvoy, who had some previous experience working for a local construction company, was able to take the lead on many of the home renovations.
"You could tell on day one that Brady really enjoyed working on the homes in El Mamón. The pride he had in being able to contribute something to this community was immediately apparent," said Mike Olano, the director of the Lindos Sueños program. "His previous experience, painting in particular, served as a great bridge to help him communicate with and share his experience with his Dominican teammates."
Each afternoon, McEvoy and the program participants played baseball together at the Red Sox JetBlue Dominican Academy. The teens practiced on professional baseball fields and competed together against teams from neighboring towns in the Dominican. The participants' instruction was overseen by Red Sox Director of Dominican Academy Jesus Alou.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Alou played 15 seasons in the major leagues with the Giants, Astros, Athletics, and Mets, and at one time played in the same major league outfield alongside his brothers Felipe and Matty.
Similar to the eight previous trips, the program was primarily funded by contributions to the Red Sox Foundation from private donors. This year's program was also designated as a recipient of one of the Red Sox "100 Acts of Kindness," a program that recognizes and supports the work of charitable organizations during Fenway Park's 100th anniversary season. As one of the recipients, the program received materials for the home construction; uniforms from Red Sox corporate partner New Balance; and tools from Red Sox corporate partner Stanley Tools.
This year's list of 10 American teens selected to participate in the program, all of whom will be honored on the field at Fenway Park as part of a pre-game ceremony, includes:
Matt Barnes, age 17, Southboro; Steven Guerrero, age 16, Boston; Harrison Kay, age 18, Boston; Brady McEvoy, age 17, Dunstable; Matt McLaughlin, age 18, Alexandria, Va.; Parker Nickelson, age 17, Eagan, Minn.; Austin Rubino, age 16, Ipswich; Mark Ruiz, age 17, Framingham; Ben Scharlotte, age 17, Concord, N.H.; and Hunter Strang, age 17, Bethesda, Md.