Updated: Mar 23
This fall, longtime Boys & Girls Club supporters Roger and Elaine Ralph made their most significant gift to our organization – $50,000 to make possible expanded Club hours and services.
On the heels of this generous gift, our President and CEO Jeff Breslin, reflected on Roger’s immeasurable impact on our organization and his own personal journey.
Roger’s impact on my life began long before we met. As a successful health club owner in the early 1980s, Roger was introduced to the Ripken family at an event to aid the fight against Cystic Fibrosis. Fast forward 25 years, as I found myself in Baltimore beginning my career with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, I met Roger – his generosity to my own personal battle and his years long friendship not yet known to the 23-year-old version of myself. As Roger would remind us, “there are no accidents.”
As my career continued, Roger remained a constant source of guidance, mentorship, and wisdom. In 2018, as I transitioned to my current role as CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore, Roger’s commitment to my growth and his desire to see a thriving Boys & Girls Club organization spurred a deeper relationship. As I found my sea legs in sometimes uncertain waters, Roger was a navigational force consistently reminding me to “think big thoughts and share them.”
As we continue to do exactly as Roger instructed – thinking, sharing, and executing on big thoughts in support of kids – we are doing so with Roger’s steadying and guiding voice quietly urging us to simply – “go, do.” Go farther in the pursuit of a new and innovative program. Do more for the kids we serve. Remembering always, that it is people with big hearts and great talent that change the world.
The depth of Roger’s heart for others is matched only by his ability to create and cultivate meaningful relationships. Whether industry colleagues, a baseball legend, a college friend named Butch, or in my case, a young professional just starting my career, Roger embodies his oft repeated phrase“it’s all about relationships.”
In life, people tend to walk in and out leaving sometimes measurable, but rarely immeasurable impacts. In the case of Roger Ralph, the impact he has made on many is truly immeasurable. He has repaid his own good fortune and hard work with the gift of mentorship for countless professionals, friends and kids alike.
We are so fortunate to have a friend like Roger.