A summer to remember – Aaron Jefferson
As I look back over my time with the Minnesota Twins Community Fund this summer, it’s difficult to pick out only one positive experience that stands out over the others. No two days were ever alike during my time in Twins Territory, as new personal and professional challenges and opportunities arose with every game! It is safe to say that my internship experience met, and in quite a few areas, exceed my expectations.
Without a doubt, the most personally rewarding experiences of my internship were my opportunities to meet and interact with the many special needs members of Twins Territory. Whether it was visiting the Veterans Affairs hospital along with Manager Ron Gardenhire, throwing a pizza party with Joe Mauer for children with long-term illnesses, or escorting a 5-year-old cancer patient down to batting practice before a game, I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to brighten the days of so many disadvantaged people.
With the Community Fund, there were many excellent opportunities for professional development as well. With my academic background in philanthropy and grant-making, it was particularly rewarding to see the behind-the-scenes operations of both our fundraising and grant-making programs. I learned about organizing fundraising events such as TwinsFest, the Split the Pot Raffle, and the Twins Broadcast Auction. Then I was also able to sit in on Community Fund board meetings where highly respected community leaders discussed how and where the money would have the greatest impact. It was really eye-opening to see the care with which such important decisions were made!
It is certainly amazing how quickly a 162-game season goes by. It really does feel like opening day was just a couple of weeks ago! But I can absolutely say that I’ve cherished my time with the Minnesota Twins and the Community Fund. I have always cheered on my hometown Twins, and will continue to do so, just now with a whole new respect of the organization!