From left to right: Andrew and Tony
From left to right: Jack Kriz, Coach Nancy Greenwold, Founder, Kathy Kriz, First Poway Padres team mom, Tony Rubio, Founder and President, and Doug Greenwold, Founder.
From left to right: Emily Hernandez, Gene Maienschein, Ron Hernandez, and Tony Rubio
In 1998 I read an article in our local paper about a baseball team called the Poway Padres being formed and saw that they needed a coach. I had coached Pony Baseball teams for many years with my son and knew how dependent teams were on volunteers. It struck me that young people with disabilities wanted to play baseball but had no one to help them. So I contacted the organizer, Nancy Greenwold, who said that she and her husband Doug were going to start that weekend, and why don't I come out and see what I thought. After that first practice, I realized I needed help and called Gene Maienschein, who called his friend Ron Hernandez. That was 25 years ago.
Nancy and Doug had just moved to Poway with their son David and had a vision for creating housing, education, and community support opportunities for other developmentally disabled adults. I soon realized how meaningful it was to the families and players to be part of a team. Over the years, as the awareness of the program grew and I came to understand the many daily challenges confronting the families, I saw that the teams' successes and time together could be used to create an awareness of the special needs community in the city.
I hope you will see the impact that this team has had on the community and the lasting friendships that have been created. The Foundation has been fortunate to support many families, community leaders, and civic officials over the past 25 years. The Foundation's mission is to use our experience and knowledge to continue to identify housing, educational and personal health and wellness options for not only our local communities but also for other communities. These efforts aim to create opportunities for their children to learn and grow to be more independent and fulfill their maximum potential.
With your support, we hope to continue to build these opportunities for many more years to come.