Packers NFL LISC Grassroots Program Grant $200,000 For Field Installation

Posted May 18, 2010

Field, Donated By Packers, Was Formerly Used As Team"s Ray Nitschke Field

Journey House, a Southside Milwaukee community organization, will receive a $200,000 grant from the Green Bay Packers as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program, it was announced today.

The grant, awarded by the Packers, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year. It will be used to install a synthetic turf playing field at Mitchell Park. The field to be installed was donated by the Packers and previously was the surface on Ray Nitschke Field, one of the team"s practice fields. Journey House provides educational and recreational opportunities to more than 6,600 individuals at nine facilities. The field at Mitchell Park is the home field for the Journey House Football League and cheerleading programs. It will be used by other local youth, high school and college level football programs.

The NFL Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund and LISC, the nation"s leading community development support corporation, has resulted in the construction or renovation of 225 football fields nationwide in the past 12 years. During that time, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted more than $28 million to revitalize playing fields in underserved neighborhoods. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements such as irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.

"We"re very excited for the Journey House to receive the grant and be able to complete construction of its field," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "We"re proud to know the field from Nitschke Field will serve a great community organization and its many meaningful athletic programs."

LISC identifies local, nonprofit, neighborhood-based agencies which have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and parks in underserved neighborhoods. Through the program, the local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their neighborhoods. The local agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.

"Our focus at LISC is on building sustainable communities, good places to live, work, do business and raise families," said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. "Developing recreational opportunities is a key part of that, and the NFL has been a committed partner in making it happen."

Since 1998, the Packers now have secured nine grants worth a combined $1.025 million for Wisconsin organizations working on new or renovated athletic fields and stadiums. Previous grants from LISC or NFL Youth Football Fund went to Wrightstown High School (2009), Green Bay Southwest High School (2008), Custer High School, Milwaukee (2005), Boys & Girls Club of Green Bay (2005), Bradley Tech High School, Milwaukee (2003), Green Bay East High School, (2001), Green Bay Preble High School (2001) and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (1998).

About the NFL Youth Football Fund

Established in 1998 by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the NFL Youth Football Fund seeks to use football as a catalyst to promote positive youth development, support youth and high school football needs nationwide and also ensure the health of grassroots football in future generations. Through the YFF"s youth football initiatives and support programs, youngsters are provided with opportunities to learn the game of football, get physically fit and stay involved in productive after-school activities with adult mentors

About LISC

LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $9.7 billion to build or rehab more than 271,000 affordable homes and develop 40 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $31.3 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit

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