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TFK Impact: Mission Moment

Inspired Future? Check!

L-R: Cecil Price III, Jaiden Brooks, and Chanel Thomas with TFK Executive Director Jason Riley at the
2019 Sweat Pants Dance

Cecil Price III grew up on Tickets for Kids. That is, he took part in opportunities provided by TFK while he was in grade school. Now a high school senior, Cecil recently spoke with us about those early TFK opportunities.

 “I remember going lots of different places,” says Cecil Price III with a mega-watt smile. “Field trip day was always a good day!”

 The 18-year-old high school senior is recalling the multitude of out-of-school activities made available to him by Tickets for Kids while he was a grade-school student at an urban charter school.

“Symphony. Zoo. Science center,” he says when asked what particular trips he can recall. “The symphony was very memorable to me because I love music and I’ve been interested in music and music performance for as long as I can remember. I’ve been playing drums since I was three, and I’m now the drum director at my church.”

While the memories of the activities and events have stayed with Cecil through the years, he admits that it wasn’t until much later that he realized where the events came from.

“I was not aware as a kid that my trips to museums, concerts, ball games, and everything else were because of a network in my city that cared about giving me these opportunities,” he says. “It’s amazing to know now that you all cared about my future – by wanting me to experience all that the city has to offer.”

When asked if he feels experiences provided by Tickets for Kids has had an impact on who he is today, Cecil thinks for a moment, then says, “I can tell you this. I grew up feeling very much a part of this city. And I think having such opportunities truly set an ever-growing positive foundation for me as a child.”

And an impressive foundation it is. Cecil’s current accomplishments include Youth Director of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, member of the National Honor Society, student leader of both the Journey to Medicine and YMCA Youth and Government programs, college-bound senior, and the President of the African American Centers for Advanced Studies Council. Recently, Cecil has been reviewing his wish list of colleges, including Howard, Hampton, and Morehouse, with the intention of attending one of the historically black colleges or universities next fall. “I can’t say that everything I am today is due to Tickets for Kids,” he says with a laugh. “But I do think the opportunities I got through the organization helped to shape and mold me into the student, brother, son, and friend that I am today.”

by Meryl Hellring, Development and Communications Director

Friday at the Theater

TFK Impact:
Mission Moment

There is no greater way to understand the impact of a TFK experience than directly from the Kids themselves. Connect with our agency partners through Mission Moments.

Edition: November 9, 2017

Agency: Various agency partners in Western Pennsylvania

Event: Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

“The kids love the show, thank you so much for the opportunity!.”

What’s more fun than watching your favorite movie come alive on stage? Thanks to the generosity of the Pittsburgh CLO, these TFK Kids from across the Western Pennsylvania region got to experience the joy of live theater at the Benedum Center.

Everyone loved the production and had a wonderful time. One little girl kept yelling out at the beginning, “Hello Ariel!” Then she would whisper, “Can she hear me?” She had never been to a live theater before. She was squirming in her seat, just amazed by the whole thing!

The parents especially loved being able to share this special experience with their children. “When I first got a call from the Boys and Girls Club, I was afraid my kid was in trouble,” said one mom, laughing, “but I’m so glad they called.” She expressed so much joy at being able to share a night on the town with her young daughter.

Tickets for Kids works with theaters across the county to ensure all kids have access to the wonder of these first-time experiences. Follow along with #TFKthanksyou for more moments of inspiration all month long!

Summer Campers LOVED PNC Park Tours

TFK Impact:
Mission Moment

There is no greater way to understand the impact of a TFK experience than directly from the Kids themselves. Connect with our agency partners through Mission Moments.

Edition: September 7, 2017

Agency: 2017 Summer Programs in Pittsburgh

Event: PNC Park Tours

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

“This trip was amazing…best field trip tour we’ve ever had.”

PNC Park is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates and offers stadium tours throughout the year. TFK partners with the stadium to offer TFK Kids an exclusive look inside the park. Tour guides take groups just about everywhere in the ballpark, including the Pirates Clubhouse, Batting Cage, Dugout, Field, and Press Box…all this with the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh in the backdrop.

All summer long these tours have sparked interest in baseball, opened geographic boundaries to downtown Pittsburgh, inspired children to ask questions, and exposed kids to something new.

Hear from the groups themselves:
  • “The up close and personal tour of PNC Park did not disappoint. Campers loved seeing the baseball field from the first row of the stadium! They were in awe of the beauty and just how enormous the park was. It was truly an awesome tour.”
  • “Very nice educational tour with baseball and Pittsburgh history! A great activity to start the summer!”
  • “It was an awesome experience to tour PNC Park. We were able to see what goes on behind the scenes. The people at the Park were extremely nice and warm. We all enjoyed ourselves. Thank you!”
  • “Our campers enjoyed PNC Park. We really had a great time and they learned a lot about the stadium and Pirates history.”
  • “One of the students was so awestruck, his comment was ‘Are these the real lockers or are they just fake ones put up for us to see?’ Thanks to Tickets for Kids and the Pirates for this memorable experience.”
  • “The students were very interested in the tour, especially since many of our students play baseball and softball.”

Celebrate the impact of sports and recreation with us at The Sweat Pants Dance on September 14, 2017 .

More Than a Fun Day at Soccer Camp

TFK Impact:
Mission Moment

There is no greater way to understand the impact of a TFK experience than directly from the Kids themselves. Connect with our agency partners through Mission Moments.

Edition: August 24, 2017

Agency: Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region

Event: ProCamp: Soccer Camp

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Kisha is a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence Region in Philadelphia. Without Tickets for Kids, she never would have been able to take her Little Sister to soccer camp.

"My Little is super shy!” Kisha told us. “She told me a couple of times she was scared to attend the soccer camp, but I assured her that I would be there and she would have a great time.”

Participation in day-camp programs can have a significant effect on the attitudes of children attending. A national study of more than 3,500 children found that children, ages 10 to 16, demonstrated positive changes in their attitudes and perceptions regarding education, self-perceptions, and sportsmanship at the end of the program…even though it was only one day long!

“Everyone at the soccer camp was so friendly, from the coaches to the children to the parents in the stands! My Little indeed had a great time, what an experience! We appreciate all that you guys did, thank you Tickets for Kids.”

Way to go Kisha for helping your Little overcome her fear and enjoy camp.

Join us on September 14, 2017, at The Sweat Pants Dance to celebrate the sports and recreational moments making a difference for TFK Kids all year long.

Summer Fun at Phipps

TFK Impact:
Mission Moment

There is no greater way to understand the impact of a TFK experience than directly from the Kids themselves. Connect with our agency partners through Mission Moments.

Edition: June 23, 2017

Agency: New Outlook Academy

Event: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Looking for some #Summerfun? Maybe the experience of these TFK Kids from New Outlook Academy will inspire you to head outdoors this season.

“We had a great time at Phipps! From the moment we walked through the first set of doors, the girls were blown away by all the trees and flowers that surrounded them. We made our way through all of the different rooms, seeing the many displays that the conservatory had to offer. A favorite of the students was the room of orchids, the bonsai tree display, and the cactus room. The edible plant room was also a hit; the girls were curious to see the plants that their chocolate, coffee, and sugar come from! Since it was such a nice day outside, we took our time walking through the outdoor gardens and taking in the view of the city.”

Here are some of the things the TFK Kids had to say:
  • Ciera – “It was exciting to see an actual chocolate tree and seeing a starfruit for the first time! It was such a beautiful place. Thank you.”
  • Jessica – “Going to the conservatory was a great time. It was amazing to see all the different flowers and to see all the colors. I really enjoyed myself, and it was so beautiful!”
  • Brittany – “It was an experience I will never forget.”
  • Cassidy – “I’ve never been to a conservatory before, or spent much time observing the beauty of flowers. This experience was great and so memorable. Thank you for the opportunity to enjoy flowers and nature.”

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was founded in Pittsburgh in 1893 and has a number of formal gardens and various species of exotic plants like the bonsai trees these TFK Kids enjoyed!

Heartfelt thank you makes impact clear

Dear people who gave us tickets for ice skating,

I just want to say thank you. I can’t remember the last time that I had so much funIce rink, or got to feel like a child again, for the first time in a long time. I haven’t brought out my inner child since I was seven years old, when I had to grow up too fast. I’m seventeen now. And I haven’t seen that kid in a long time. I had a great time skating. I now know where to take my five-year-old sister when I get out. I hope I can go skating some more times while I’m in here, so I can practice and be good when I get out and go back to California, and then I’ll be able to teach her to skate.

There are no words to tell you how grateful that I am that I’ll be able to show her something good, to teach her to skate like Elsa, her favorite Disney princess. I want to say thanks again for my new skill and one of the best days of my lifetime.  I can’t wait to show my sister that I can live up to her opinion of me. – Allan, resident at Summit Academy