If Walt McCreary from Centreville tells you to take a HIKE, he means go to Annie’s Paramount Steak & Seafood House on Thursday, March 11 for the All-Stars for Education Dinner and Auction to support Matt Birk’s HIKE Foundation.
Hope, inspiration, knowledge and education – intangibles crucial to the growth of every child, sadly can be stripped away in one tragic moment. When children are put at risk through the illness or loss of a parent, the HIKE Foundation, established by Raven’s Matt Birk, steps in by providing interactive programs and resources needed to guide that child through the key educational transitions between elementary, middle, high school and college.
Established in 2002, the non-profit foundation focused on Baltimore area youth, but when Walt heard there were at-risk kids in Queen Anne’s County, he created the McCreary Cares for Kids Program in association with the HIKE Foundation to benefit youth in this area.
An assistant basketball coach for Special Olympics for four years and assistant for the swimming program at the YMCA, Walt has a history of volunteering to help out area youth in one way or another. “When I heard about Mike Birk’s Foundation, “I wanted to be a part of that,” says Walt. “I was shocked to learn there were kids at risk in Queen Anne’s County.”
When children show signs of behavioral changes after a family tragedy, the school system refers them to the program where they are mentored, monitored and even provided special incentives to ensure their educational success. Walt recognizes the importance of such a program after dealing with a nephew who started getting into trouble after losing his father. “We did everything we could to help him,” says Walt.
Combining his passion to help youth and experience as an event coordinator, Walt is dedicated to spreading the word about the HIKE Foundation. Working hand-in-hand with Matt, he is already planning other events that will take place in Queen Anne’s County to benefit kids at risk.
The All-Stars for Education Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and includes seafood hors d’oeuvres, appetizers, surf & turf dinner, desserts, coffee and open bar for the entire evening. Tickets cost $150 per person and there is limit of reserve seats available.
Attending the event with Matt Birk are fellow Ravens to be announced later, Giants Sean Landeta, Colts Roger Carr, Bruce Laird, Sanders Shiver, Redskins Ron McDole, Pat Fischer, Gary Clark, Clarence Vaughn, Reggie Branch and Mike Bragg as well as NHL HOF Rod Langway, O’s Mike Young and HOF Legend Lenny Moore.
Silent and live auction items include signed sports memorabilia such as a Raven’s helmet and team football, a sports fishing trip with Matt Birk, Rock fishing excursion with Boog Powell, a Rickey Henderson signed print, PRS SE Guitar signed by Paul Reed Smith, spa packages, hotel packages and more.
The local business community has been very generous with their support, according to Walt. Sponsors include Willis Tire & Auto, Queenstown Bank, Beach Club, G&G Distributors, Chesapeake Investment, Holiday Inn-Kent Narrows, Buck Distributors, Merchant Lynx Service and QAC FOP # 108. The Holiday Inn is offering a special rate of $69 for the HIKE event. Mention HIKE when placing reservations to receive the discount.
For more information about the HIKE Foundation, visit www.hikefoundation.org. For more information about the McCreary Cares for Kids Program, contact Walt at 443-336-3148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.