By Vicki Brown
Albert Pujols may have left the Cardinals to play for the Los Angeles Angels, but his family foundation that benefits people with Down syndrome and the poor in the Dominican Republic remains committed to St. Louis.
“Obviously, Albert’s visibility and accessibility during the year will be limited, but we are committed to our partnerships in St. Louis as much as ever before,” said Todd Perry, CEO of the Pujols Family Foundation. “For sure we are not going to abandon any of the work we’re doing in St. Louis. We’re going to continue doing what we do stronger than ever.”
Local partners of the foundation started in 2005 by Albert and Deidre Pujols include Missouri Baptist University.
MBU started working with the Pujols Family Foundation about 18 months ago. The university always hosts a golf tournament in the spring with part of the proceeds supporting school programs and part benefiting the community. Last spring, MBU shared with Pujols’ organization. Then last fall, MBU hosted Pujols’ charity basketball tournament in its new sports and recreation facility.
MBU plans to stick with the foundation as long as it remains in St. Louis, according to Keith Ross, senior vice president for institutional advancement.
“We’re just going to move forward with them as long as they are here,” Ross said. Partnering with the foundation, he said, “ties in with our mission.”
Perry said Pujols’ move to the West Coast will broaden the foundation’s base and appeal.
“It made us focus on the big picture, by taking a more national point of view,” he said. “We think that’s where God wants us to be anyway, not just St. Louis or Southern California.”
“Albert’s visibility is going to make it possible for us to take it to the next level,” he said. “We are seeking the Lord’s guidance on this, to figure out how to best serve those we have been called to serve.”