Beth Quinlan, volunteer coordinator at The Center for Grieving Children, presented with the organization's first-place award for Maine at Fenway Park. Courtesy of Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox

IMPACT Awards, presented by the Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation, support organizations raising awareness and improving outcomes surrounding mental health.

BOSTON — The Center for Grieving Children on Thursday received the $10,000 first-place award in Maine as part of the seventh annual IMPACT Awards, a joint initiative of the Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation which this year focused on supporting organizations whose mission includes raising awareness on the issue of mental health and improving mental health outcomes of young adults in their community.

One of 18 winners across six states in New England, The Center for Grieving Children serves more than 4,000 grieving children, teens, families, and young adults annually through peer support, outreach, and education. Since its founding in 1987, the Portland-based Center has served more than 66,000 children, teens and their families.

The IMPACT Awards give Red Sox fans the opportunity to nominate their favorite non-profits to receive support and funding. Through a $125,000 grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation, the awards provide the winning non-profits with either a first-place $10,000 grant, second-place $3,000 grant, or a third-place $2,000 grant. Eligible organizations with the most online votes from fans were the designated winners, with three non-profits selected from each New England state. The second-place winner in Maine is NAMI Maine, an education and advocacy non-profit dedicated to building better lives for the 1 in 4 Mainers who are affected by mental illness, and the third-place winner is Acadia Hospital, an acute care, short-stay psychiatric hospital providing a full continuum of mental and behavioral health services for children, teens, and adults.

“The Center for Grieving Children provides a safe space, loving peer support, outreach, and education to grieving children, teens, families and the community across southern Maine. We are so grateful that The Red Sox Foundation and the Ruderman Family Foundation places such emphasis on improving the mental health of young adults across New England communities, and are thrilled to be this year’s Maine recipient. Such generous community support allows for Center services to remain at no cost to families, for as long as they are needed,” said Beth Quinlan, volunteer coordinator at The Center for Grieving Children.

The winners were recognized in a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park on Thursday, receiving their awards on the field alongside Ruderman Family Foundation President Jay Ruderman and Sharon Shapiro, Trustee and Community Liaison for the Foundation. With COVID-19 continuing to strain non-profits across New England, the awards supported the work of organizations that are addressing the pandemic’s vast effect on mental health.

“We are pleased to offer our heartfelt congratulations to this year’s IMPACT Awards winners, whose contributions and missions are essential in providing mental health services and raising awareness surrounding mental health at a time when those priorities are more crucial than ever,” Jay Ruderman said. “As the often-overlooked mental health consequences of the pandemic will carry long-term implications across society, we look forward to seeing these grant recipients put the funds to good use as they fill glaring gaps in mental health services and make much-needed progress toward eradicating the stigma associated with mental health issues.”

Red Sox fans had the opportunity to nominate a non-profit in the mental health space from May 10 to June 7. After the finalists were named on June 21, online voting took place until July 9. 

“The Red Sox Foundation, in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, is deeply proud to recognize this year’s IMPACT Award recipients in Maine, all of which are dedicated to working tirelessly to raise awareness and strengthen mental health outcomes for young adults,” said Bekah Salwasser, Executive Vice President of Social Impact for the Boston Red Sox and Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation. “As we continue our efforts to support the recovery and rebirth in our local communities, it’s an honor to work alongside the Ruderman Family Foundation and not only support each of these incredible organizations with a grant, but also leverage our brands to amplify their impact across all of Red Sox Nation.”