Mercy and Maine Red Claws
Announce Partnership and Youth Fund

Best Shot for Youth Initiative helps community and youth

PORTLAND, ME – Today, the leaders of Mercy Hospital and the Maine Red Claws basketball team announced a joint effort to benefit the community and improve and impact the lives of southern Maine youth.

At a reception to welcome the team to the community, Mercy Hospital CEO Eileen Skinner announced the creation of the Mercy/Red Claws Best Shot for Youth Initiative to raise funds for free sports physicals, at Mercy’s Primary Care locations in Portland, Westbrook, Windham and Standish, for York and Cumberland County students in grades 6-12 who do not have a primary care physician or who are currently Mercy’s primary care patients.

“The Red Claws owners, staff and players share Mercy’s core mission of improving our community—we’re thrilled to partner to make a difference in the lives of our children and their families in our area,” said Mercy’s Eileen Skinner.

The Best Shot for Youth Initiative will seek financial support from individuals, corporations and foundations who want to support local youth through Best Shot free-throw tournaments. The first Best Shot for Youth Free Tournament will take place on Friday, December 18th from 4-7 p.m. at USM’s Sullivan Complex in Portland and will feature two Red Claws players. Another tournament will be held on January 2nd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. All Best Shot Free Tournaments are free and open to any student in grades 6-12. The event will feature sports and wellness information, demonstrations and the opportunity for participants to win a pair tickets to a Red Claws home game, courtesy of Mercy Hospital.

“It is important to our organization and the team’s ownership that the Red Claws give back and make an impact on our community,” said Red Claws President and General Manager Jon Jennings. “The Best Shot for Youth Initiative is a tremendous program that helps to fund school physicals for kids who might not otherwise be able to afford them so that they have the opportunity to participate in school athletics. We are happy to join with Mercy Hospital in such a worthwhile endeavor, and we look forward to the success and growth of this program.”

Anyone interested in participating or sponsoring the Mercy and Maine Red Claws’ Best Shot for Youth Initiative to support area youth should call (207) 233-1040 or e-mail