The Green Bay Packers Foundation has awarded the Challenger League and Fox Valley Pop Warner with a $200,000 grant for the Challenger Field Redevelopment Project at Plamann Park in Appleton, the organization announced today.
The grant, awarded by the Packers Foundation with funds secured through the NFL Club Matching Field Grant Program, will be used to match money raised locally for the project.
Fox Valley Pop Warner, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing area youth the opportunity to participate in safe, supervised, fun and affordable organized football, is celebrating its 50th anniversary season this year. In 2006, the organization began a Challenger League, which offers a flag football program for kids with disabilities in second grade through high school. Players from Green Bay to Oshkosh can participate in the league, which is currently the only Challenger League football program in the state of Wisconsin.
The Challenger Field Redevelopment Project is at Outagamie County's Plamann Park in Appleton and will include an accessible athletic field with synthetic turf, lighting and site amenities, an accessible walkway connecting the athletic field to the restroom, and a new handicap parking area.
The field itself will be used for Challenger League football, as well as other youth football and flag football league games, youth lacrosse, youth soccer and other community events. The project is expected to be complete by fall 2023.
"We're proud to award this grant to the Challenger League and Fox Valley Pop Warner for their project to provide a high-quality athletic field for young athletes of all ability levels," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "It's vitally important for the sport of football to be accessible and welcoming to everyone. This new field and accompanying facilities will provide an ideal place for kids and their families to learn about the value of teamwork, leadership and sportsmanship."
"We are thrilled to be awarded this grant from the Green Bay Packers and the NFL," said Kurt Dietzen, president of Fox Valley Pop Warner. "We would like to thank the Packers for their support and we are very grateful for their commitment to partner with us on this project. The new turf field will provide many positive opportunities for young athletes of all ability levels. Thank you again for your support and making a positive impact to families in our community."
This is the fifth such Packers grant in conjunction specifically with the NFL's Club Matching Field Grant Program. It is also the 20th grant secured by the Packers since 1998 for Wisconsin organizations working on new or renovated athletic fields and stadiums, with the cumulative total now at $3,110,000.
Previous grants, worth a combined $2,910,000, went to the Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation (2020), Racine Unified School District (2018), Milwaukee Public Schools (2017), Pulaski Community School District (2017), Green Bay Area Public School District (2015), Logan High School-La Crosse School District (2015), Bay Port High School Howard-Suamico School District (2014), Ashwaubenon School District (2013), Manitowoc Public School District (2012), West Allis-West Milwaukee School District (2011), Journey House in Milwaukee (2009), 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 Foundation: The NFL Foundation is the league's nonprofit organization representing the 32 NFL clubs. Its mission is to support the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football and the communities which support our game.