RED SOX LEGEND DAVID ORTIZ TO BE HONORED WITH THE 2017 CHARMED FOUNDATION’S COURAGE AWARD AT THE INAUGURAL GALA SATURDAY, APRIL 22 AT THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL BOSTON

BOSTON (March 2, 2017) – The Children and Athletes Regenerative Medicine (CHARMED) Foundation is proud to honor legendary Boston Red Sox slugger David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz as a co-recipient of the foundation’s first-ever Courage Award. Ortiz will receive the award alongside his seven-year-old friend, Maverick Schutte, who has inspired the nation and Ortiz with his courageous battle against a congenital heart condition and lung defect.  The Boston-based foundation will honor Ortiz and Schutte at its inaugural gala on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at the Mandarin Oriental Boston.                        

“We are honored to recognize David Ortiz with the CHARMED Foundation Athlete’s Courage Award for the generosity and support he continues to exhibit to Maverick and many other children in Boston, the Dominican Republic and beyond,” said CHARMED President and Boston native MaryAnn O’Neill.  “Ortiz’s vision of providing pediatric care to children in need through his foundation is perfectly aligned with the mission of the CHARMED Foundation, and the genuine commitment Ortiz has exhibited to this mission is certainly deserving of recognition.”

"It is an honor to receive this award with my buddy Maverick. Since starting my own foundation in 2006, the David Ortiz Children's Fund, I have been committed to helping children and have been so inspired by Maverick's courage and strength" said Ortiz.

The CHARMED Foundation Courage Award will be given annually to honor a child and/or professional athlete that exemplifies the mission of the Foundation - to support the development and translation of regenerative medicine therapies specifically designed for the functional needs of children and athletes.

In May, Ortiz joined former teammate Kevin Millar in reaching out to young Maverick, who is battling the heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot and lung disease. Maverick, who hails from Cheyenne, Wyo., visited his new friends Ortiz and Millar at Fenway Park in Boston during Big Papi’s final this season with the Red Sox. Maverick’s mother, Marti Linnane, said for Maverick, “It's the best day of his life every time we do anything with the Red Sox.”  His step-father, Mike Linnane, is a native New Englander (Portsmouth, N.H.) and they were married in Red Sox jerseys.

Ortiz and Millar sent Maverick a video in which Ortiz promised the youngster he would hit a home run for him. The future Hall of Famer was true to his word, as he hit one against the Yankees’ Dellin Betances that night.

Seats at the inaugural gala can be reserved at: https://www.charmedfoundation.org/gala-2016/reservations, and sponsorship packages for the gala are available by contacting Erin Lynch at e.lynch@charmedfoundation.org.

About the CHARMED Foundation: The Children and Athletes Regenerative Medicine (CHARMED) Foundation was founded in 2015 and is devoted to clinical research of regenerative medicine, discovering new ways to promote the body's ability to heal itself to save children's lives and prolong athletes' careers. With collaborative efforts among leading scientists, bioengineers and clinicians, research focus areas include: cell manufacturing, personalized medical devices and therapeutic delivery. The CHARMED Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, with hopes of dramatically accelerating the development and translation of regenerative medicine for children and athletes. To learn more about The CHARMED Foundation and its work, please visit www.CharmedFoundation.org or visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The CHARMED Foundation does not support research involving embryonic or fetal stem cells.