Play Ball Puerto Rico Acknowledged as a Driving Force in Bringing Puerto Rico Back from Hurricane Devastation

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In the aftermath of two hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico, UNA-USA Puerto Rico chapter Founder and Executive Director Ricardo Arzuaga Chaves saw an opportunity to bring people on the island together around a common goal: resilience against climate change and sustainable development for a more secure future.

“It was such a turning point for everybody in Puerto Rico,” says Ricardo Arzuaga Chaves, the Founder and Executive Director of the island’s chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA PR).

In 2017, two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, struck the Caribbean island within less than two weeks, giving its people no choice but to confront climate change head-on.

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Roberto Clemente Celebration

Statue of Roberto Clemente

Life was good for local supporters of Play Ball Puerto Rico as they helped Louisville Slugger celebrate the unveiling of a statue of Roberto Clemente to become a permanent part of the Slugger Museum!

​The group came to downtown Louisville on a beautifully sunny morning August 18th.  Visitors of the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum included local news crews and a contingent of the  Puerto Rican community in Kentucky.  Roberto Clemente is remembered as a humanitarian as much as he was a baseball player.

​Clemente’s two sons, Luis and Roberto Jr. were taken aback by the statue’s unveiling which happened on the day that would have been their father’s 87th birthday.

​“To see the details in this was amazing,” said Luis Clemente. “His stare, he was very intense, and they captured that.” Both sons offered tribute and thanks to Slugger Museum as well as their mother would supported and nurtured them during their lives. It was an emotional and Luis said “heartfelt thanks”.

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United Nations Association Hits Home Run With Play Ball Puerto Rico

Ever wonder what happens when a dedicated middle school student decides to enrich the world through community service?

​This is exactly what Lawson Strenecky did by building a single project into a successful non-profit organization called Play Ball Puerto Rico (PBPR).

​Lawson was motivated to help the people of Puerto Rico after the Island was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017. At the time, he was an 8th grade student with a passion for baseball and helping others. Lawson, who lives and attends school in Bardstown, Kentucky, discovered that baseball was the heart and soul of life in Puerto Rico.

With the help of his grandparents, Bernie and Eileen Strenecky, he led the effort to gather equipment to outfit a boys and girls team in the Hurricane-ravaged community of Guanica, located in the southeast corner of Puerto Rico.

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