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Gov. Hogan’s Office for Children awards $10,000 grant to Baltimore’s Family League, Choo Smith Youth Summer Basketball

BALTIMORE – This morning, Arlene Lee, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children and Steven J. McAdams, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives  joined Jonathon Rondeau, President & CEO of the Family League of Baltimore to award a $10,000 grant to former Harlem Globetrotter and Baltimore City native Choo Smith and the children and youth participating in the Choo Smith Youth Empowerment Foundation’s Basketball Summer Camp.

The $10,000 Children’s Office grant protects the State’s investment in the Choo Smith Youth Empowerment Foundation’s Summer Basketball Camp by covering the camp’s operating expenses for the remainder of the 2015 program.

“The Governor’s Office for Children is happy to be able to provide the additional resources needed to ensure this strong program serves the children and youth in this community,” said Arlene Lee, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children.

“Choo Smith has incredible passion and is dedicated to bettering the lives of Baltimore area children and youth,” said Steven J. McAdams, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.  “All of us in the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives are committed to supporting Choo Smith’s in his effort to help children and youth from across the Baltimore region.”

Choo Smith Empowerment Foundation’s Summer Basketball Camp is a non-profit organization that provides Baltimore area children and youth with basketball instruction as well as a future leader program that instills the characteristics of an off the court leader. Choo Smith Basketball Camp offers participants ages 6 to17 a positive learning and team experience along with the opportunity to create lifelong memories.

Choo Smith Basketball Camp now operates a full service camp in Owings Mills, Md. and on Coppin State University’s Physical Education Complex. Ongoing efforts are in place to expand to future locations across the region in the years to come.

In its seventh year of operation, Choo Smith’s Summer Basketball Camp has served over 440 children and youth.

“The activities offered by the Choo Smith Empowerment Foundation’s summer camp demonstrate a dedication to providing summer learning opportunities to Baltimore’s youth,” said Family League President & CEO Jonathon Rondeau. “The Foundation’s mission of youth, family and community empowerment is in line with Family League’s vision of a Baltimore where every child grows up in a family that thrives.”  

Mr. Charles “Choo” Smith, President  & CEO of the Foundation, is a former Harlem Globetrotter and Baltimore native who established the Camp as a way to connect children and youths to resources and activities that promote achievement on and off the court. The Foundation also develops programs that foster positive outcomes for children and their families within the communities it serves.    

 “Our youth are faced with so many challenges day-to-day,” Charles “Choo” Smith said.  “When we can put like-minded spirits together for the greater good, this creates a platform to develop our children and for that we “ALL” win.  Thank you so much for believing in our organization and being true game changers for our ‘Bumblebees.’  Let’s keep them buzzing!”


About Governor’s Office for Children

Governor’s Office for Children coordinates child and family-oriented care within the State’s Child-Serving Agencies by emphasizing prevention, early intervention and community-based services for all children and families. 

About Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives

Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives advises Governor Larry Hogan on policies to enhance and improve community programs across Maryland; and oversees the work of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, Volunteer Maryland, community affairs and engagement within the Executive Branch of Maryland government and the Governor’s eight ethnic and cultural Commissions.

About Family League of Baltimore

Family League of Baltimore develops and implements collaborative solutions to help struggling, hard-working Baltimore families and children achieve their dreams of a better life. Family League was established in 1991 as Baltimore’s Local Management Board to manage and deploy government funds that strengthen children and families. The organization serves as an architect of change, leveraging relationships with public and private entities, as well as convening stakeholders from local government, the funding community and direct service organizations to bring together financial support and a shared vision for education and hunger that benefit the children and families of Baltimore. Learn more about Family League of Baltimore at

About Choo Smith Empowerment Foundation

Choo Smith Youth Empowerment Foundation is dedicated to developing and implementing programs that facilitate positive growth in the lives of the youth we serve, as well as their families and community.


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