Award is part of $5.43 million in new grants to athletic fields nationwide
Dahlin Family Stadium at Green Bay Southwest High School will get new bleachers thanks in part to a $50,000 grant from the National Football League Grassroots Program, it was announced today.
The grant, awarded by the Green Bay Packers, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of $5.43 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year to community groups in areas surrounding the 32 NFL markets.
"The Packers are pleased the school system will receive funds for new bleachers at a field that's a great environment for high school football, as well as other prep and youth sports," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, a member of the NFL Youth Football Committee since 2002. "We're proud to help enhance a venue where members of our community gather to enjoy sporting activities."
The project will offer fans a more comfortable environment to view games, and the stadium will be able to accommodate more than 2,000 spectators. Matching funds have been committed by the Dean Family Foundation, as well as other supporters of the school. Former Packers linebacker Bryce Paup (1990-94) is the head football coach at Southwest High School.
The grant to Southwest High School is the seventh such LISC grant awarded to Wisconsin organizations through the Packers since 1998. The previous grants, worth a combined $525,000, went to 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).
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 170 football fields nationwide in the past decade. In the last 10 years, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted over $20 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.
"Fields are an integral part of creating viable and healthy communities," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, who also is a member of LISC's national board of directors. "The development and refurbishment of these football fields gives youngsters across the country a safe place to play the game, and brings families and neighborhoods together."
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.
"These fields are a critical part of our efforts to create sustainable communities - places where people want to live, work and raise families," said MICHAEL RUBINGER, LISC's president and CEO. "Through its contributions, the Youth Football Fund is clearly making neighborhoods better and stronger."
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.
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help non-profit community development corporations revitalize underserved neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $8.6 billion to build or rehab nearly 230,000 affordable homes and develop 32 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.