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TFK Corner: News and Events

Welcoming Most Valuable Kids D.C. into the Tickets for Kids Family

Tickets for Kids® and Most Valuable Kids D.C. to Consolidate Efforts to Inspire Kids

PITTSBURGH, PA – (May 27, 2021) National nonprofit Tickets for Kids announced today that it will merge the operations of Most Valuable Kids Washington D.C. into the organization beginning June 1, 2021.

Both organizations have spent decades providing access for under-resourced kids and families to all sorts of ticketed experiences – sports, family entertainment, the arts, museums, and more. The two organizations share the common goals of inspiring children to aspire to greatness through exposure to new experiences. Collectively, the two organizations have provided more than 3 million tickets worth more than $74 million.

“This is an opportunity to consolidate the best that both organizations have to offer, expanding the impact of our shared mission to inspire kids by providing access to opportunities they might otherwise be excluded from,” said Tickets for Kids Executive Director Jason J. Riley. “We are grateful to Daryle and Beth Bobb, the founders of Most Valuable Kids, for their partnership and are excited to expand our impact throughout the D.C. metro area.”

Most Valuable Kids’ Founder Daryle Bobb said “We are very excited that through partnership with Tickets for Kids the mission of the organization will continue to flourish in the region. Beth and I are incredibly proud of the legacy that Most Valuable Kids D.C. will leave, and happy that Tickets for Kids will continue the work of building upon that legacy.”

Bobb will join the national board of directors of Tickets for Kids as Most Valuable Kids D.C. transitions to the Tickets for Kids brand. Chapters of Most Valuable Kids in Cincinnati and Atlanta will remain independent organizations.

Tickets for Kids began in 1994 in Pittsburgh, PA, acquiring donated tickets and matching them to those most in need. Since then, the model has been replicated in markets across the country. A trusted partner to both ticket providers and youth-serving nonprofits, more than 2,000 nonprofit partners benefit from the tickets donated by entities ranging from national sports leagues and musical superstars to local and regional theaters, museums, zoos, and more. The operations of the organization are funded by generous individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Tickets for Kids’ Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

As we all face the new and unsettling experience of responding to a global pandemic, the traditional ways in which Tickets for Kids has delivered on its mission have changed dramatically. As social distancing is being practiced in communities across the country, Tickets for Kids has pivoted from sending kids and adults “out and about” to providing our network with other resources and fulfilling other needs.  Click here to view TFK’s full statement from Executive Director Jason Riley. 

While working remotely, we’re focusing our efforts on sharing virtual experiences with our youth-serving partners, strengthening our infrastructure, and being best prepared to continue to serve in any way we can. Thanks to our incredible network of ticket donors and community partners, our team has been working throughout this crisis to continue to provide access and inspiration to the Tickets for Kids community across the U.S. 

Here’s what we’ve been up to: 

Stay-At-Home Resource Page!

Tickets for Kids is now acting as a central hub for all things virtual — STEM activities, live dance lessons, Q&A sessions, and much more! Tickets for Kids continues to search out resources to help keep kids engaged with learning and fun during Stay-at-Home orders. All available activities are listed on our website by region and category. You can access the Stay-At-Home Resources page here. 

2,800 Masks Distributed! 

The Minnesota Opera partnered with Tickets for Kids to provide more than 2,800 masks to our 300 agency partners in Minnesota! The Opera’s costume shop has been busy sewing thousands of masks with the intent of protecting the most vulnerable in our community. The existing partnership with Tickets for Kids provided the perfect distribution plan! Masks were shipped to agencies who provide food, basic needs, shelter, and more!   

45 Board Games Provided! 

We get it, kids are bored and getting restless. To help the homeless and domestic violence shelters we serve, we contacted MindWare, the world’s leading producer of “brainy toys for kids of all ages.” They were thrilled to partner and donated 45 board games that we provided to 15 agency partners! Kids will bond with the important adults in their life with these fun and educational games! 

Of course, we still understand the incredible impact live experiences can provide – and we continue to provide them! We have engaged kids to learn about new cultures in a Bollywood Dance Class hosted by South Asian Arts and Theater House, had a Q&A with a World Cup soccer player Tony Sanneh, and discussed teamwork and healthy lifestyle with former MN Viking Mike Harris. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll offer music therapy and physical activity classes for our agencies serving children with special needs.  

Even during this very unusual time, Tickets for Kids is working hard to continue to offer inspiration, adventure, and education to the kids who need it most. And we, like all of you, look forward to resuming our IRL (in real life) work with everyone we serve in the near future! 

The Sweat Pants Dance 2: It’s Showtime

The feel-good event of the season, The Sweat Pants Dance 2, took place at the beautiful Left -Field Lounge at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on September 27th.

Wearing their comfy rehearsal clothes, agency partners, ticket donors, sponsors, and supporters joined TFK to honor the Arts & Cultural venues that light up the stage for kids to experience the magic of the performing arts.

More than 200 guests attended the event, which featured activities, food, a silent auction , and dancing to the groovy beats of DJ KoolBreeze. Thank you to everyone who attended and made the night magnificent!

The TFK Kid Experience

MN United’s “50K To Midway” Record-Breaking Finale

Thanks to ticket donations from Minnesota United FC and a very generous individual donor, more than 500 TFK Kids had the opportunity on October 21st to stand up and cheer as their hometown soccer heroes played their last game at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Having the opportunity to attend these events can inspire children to dream without limitations.

“Thank you again for the tickets to enjoy MN United FC’s last game of the season. It was a special treat and a great way to end the soccer season for the boys’ soccer team. This was their first trip to a professional soccer game as a team, and for many, it was their first professional game. They were elated to be among the 50,000 fans at TCF Bank Stadium, and to see some of their role models play on the field.”

–TFK Agency Partner

TFK Kids not only had the opportunity to attend a record-breaking event, but also had some records to break of their own.

This game goes down in TFK-Twin Cities history as the first time an individual ticket donor provided more than 400 tickets to the organization! Thank you to our generous donor, and MN United, for including TFK Kids in this important community event.

As the day ended and fans said goodbye to TCF Bank Stadium, the lights for new opportunities turned on at MN United’s new stomping grounds – Allianz Field!

TFK’S Twin Cities Event : A Smashing Success

The first annual Ticket to the Twin Cities presented by PNC took place on a beautiful June day in Minnesota and brought together TFK ticket providers, sponsors, agency partners, and the Twin Cities community.

Hundreds of families participated in a day of kid-friendly games, activities, food, and fun. It was a great opportunity to make a personal connection, put a face to a name, and appreciate everyone who makes the Tickets for Kids program available to kids in the Twin Cities.

Thanks to all the attendees, sponsors, and volunteers who helped to make the day great; it was successful because of you!

Meet Our Photographer: Zay Manley


A couple of years ago, 13-year-old Zay Manley started taking photos in school and fell in love with photography. His passion, along with his TFK history, led him to participate in the first Ticket to the Twin Cities event.

“When we relocated to Minnesota, we didn’t know anyone, were not familiar with the city, and were financially struggling” explained, Sarah Manley, Zay’s mom.
“During that time, we received tickets to a Twins game. That experience alone showed a world that we were unaware of. Since then, our finances have improved dramatically. We got involved as volunteers with Tickets for Kids to give back to an organization that gave something so important, yet intangible to us.”
“Zay truly enjoys volunteering for TFK and the pictures allow him to document the faces of impacted people.”

You can follow Zay’s photography on Instagram at: sevenflames7photography

ALCOSAN Jeans Day Will Benefit TFK – Again

A casual day at ALCOSAN will make for another great day at Tickets for Kids!

For the second year in a row, the generous employees of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority will pay $5 each to wear their favorite comfy jeans to work, then donate the collected funds to TFK. Last year, donations from the Jeans Day program resulted in a $1,365 contribution to Tickets for Kids!

Started in January 2017, ALCOSAN’s Jeans Day program usually attracts between 60-90 participants who are eager to do good while dressing down.

“When determining what charities to support, we focus on local organizations that do good work in our community,” said Susan Mannella, Manager of Communications. “Everybody wants to support children, so Tickets for Kids was a good fit.”

In addition to providing wastewater treatment services to 83 Pittsburgh-area municipalities, ALCOSAN is an active community partner.

“ALCOSAN is eager to improve the lives of children in our community,” Mannella continued. “We provide in-school and after-school programming for students in pre-school through high school, but it is important for children to have fun experiences that extend beyond traditional educational activities.”

Tickets for Kids is grateful for ALCOSAN’s support and partnership. We look forward to sharing the opportunities their contribution will provide with the kids and families we serve!

TFK’s Super Bowl Surprise

Are you ready for the big game? This TFK Kid is!

Tickets for Kids surprises a mentor and mentee pair with tickets to the Super Bowl

What are your plans for Super Bowl Sunday? If you’re like most Americans, you’ll be gathered on the couch with friends and family, rooting for the Eagles or Patriots, judging the commercials, and enjoying what’s likely to be an over-the-top halftime show.

But thanks to a very generous donation from a close friend of Tickets for Kids in Minneapolis, one lucky TFK Kid and his mentor from Saint Paul, MN, will be off the couch and at the game IRL (in real life!).

Twelve-year-old Jayden is a huge football fan and has never had the opportunity to experience a live NFL game. This week he learned that he'll be watching his favorite team, the New England Patriots, and his favorite player, Tom Brady, when Super Bowl LII kicks off at U.S. Bank Stadium. There's no doubt he'll be inspired by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Just look at his reaction when surprised with the tickets while attending the Super Bowl Live Experience in downtown Minneapolis:

The moment of surprise

We can all likely remember an experience from our childhood that inspired us to dream bigger. Whether you were interested in theater, museums, the zoo, or sports, these experiences inspired your ideas for the future and shaped who you became as an adult. Although sending a kid to the Super Bowl is an extreme example – and a first in our 24-year history – Tickets for Kids provides opportunities like this every day by partnering with more than 3,000 youth-serving organizations all over the country.

Does this inspire you to dream of a community that can provide inclusive opportunities for all of its residents? Join us in reaching thousands more kids this year by donating here.

Off Script: Panthers Partner with TFK

"Across the country, sporting events bring individuals of all backgrounds together. Whether its summer nights at a baseball game, or winter evenings in a hockey arena, sports have the ability to unify a population through shared fandom and experience.

With growing costs and a high demand, these events may not be as readily available to some members of a community's population. Pittsburgh, however, is at the forefront of changing this trend, headed by the Tickets for Kids Foundation."

The Sweat Pants Dance

The Sweat Pants Dance

September 14, 2017

THANK YOU for putting on your favorite fitness wear and joining TFK to celebrate the opportunities you help provide for kids to run, jump, skip, hop, dance, dangle, and move!

Event Photos

TFK Growing in Size and Impact

Executive Director, Jason J. Riley, joined Our Regions Business to share why the Pittsburgh-based non-profit merged with Minnesota-based Tix for Tots to put more tickets into the hands of kids across the country.