By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
9:09 PM EST, November 6, 2013
The room Orioles outfielder Adam Jones stepped into Wednesday afternoon at the Brooklyn O'Malley Boys and Girls Club in South Baltimore barely resembled the one he last saw in July, when he attended the groundbreaking for an expanded Technology and Learning Center at the facility.
When he returned for the renovated center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday, Jones saw first hand the result of a $75,000 donation made by him and the Orioles Charitable Foundation to renovate the center.
Kids rushed to 24 new computer terminals, four times more than previously existed. The walls were freshly painted black and orange, and the room had new carpeting and lighting. Jones’ jersey hung on the wall, and the new center was renamed in honor of Jones and the Orioles. The room was expanded by knocking out a temporary wall that separated it from a small dance studio.
“When you do charitable deeds, it’s good to see that it’s actually going toward something good,” Jones said. “It’s going to benefit a lot of kids, not just this group, but it’s going to benefit a lot of groups, and hopefully, a lot of generations.”
The center will enhance the Boys and Girls Club’s ability to provide educational support, computer skill development and career enrichment, college prep and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs to its at-risk and underserved members.
Growing up in San Diego, Jones was a member of the Encanto Boys and Girls Club.
“Obviously this is something I love to do ... just the fact that it’s a place for kids to always come if they don’t necessarily want to be at home,” Jones said. “It was always a place where my friends came. We did homework and we did other stuff. It was always a place where you could hang out. I just want to create a better opportunity for these kids here.
“Trust me, I see myself in a lot of these kids here,” Jones added. “There’s a few I definitely see myself in. That’s what it is. I think as adults, I think we begin to see reflections of ourselves.”
Jones has also independently planned a benefit tailgate party to be held before Sunday's Ravens game. The first annual #StayHungry Purple Tailgate will also benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore.
For more information on the tailgate, click here.
“I’m excited to see all the people that show up,” Jones said. “They’re showing up for a good cause and eat and enjoy themselves with a pregame. Hopefully, we can generate some more money and hopefully add more to this Boys and Girls Club. Just trying to do some good deeds and at the same time, show some people around Baltimore my familiar tastes in food.”
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