The Green Bay Packers joined the Journey House in Milwaukee Thursday to celebrate the grand opening of the new 'Packers Field' at Mitchell Park, a recently completed facility that will serve as the home for Journey House's Youth Football and Cheerleading Program and League.
The field's playing surface, a FieldTurf surface formerly used at the Packers' Ray Nitschke Field, was donated by the Packers for the new facility.
The Journey House League consists of more than 300 youth (ages 6-14), comprising 30 community teams, including 16 teams from the Milwaukee Public School District. While the program focuses mainly on the skillsets of football, character development and education are also emphasized.
In addition to Journey House's league, Marquette University High School lacrosse teams and freshmen and junior varsity football teams will play home games on the field as well.
The turf was removed from Ray Nitschke Field in 2009, and had been in storage while Journey House raised the necessary funds for the facility's renovation. To help raise those funds, Journey House applied for and received an NFL Grassroots Grant, which provides funding to nonprofits and schools within specific NFL markets. The NFL Grassroots Program, which offers the grants, provides non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local football fields. The NFL Grassroots Program provides grants of up to $200,000 for capital improvement projects.
"We congratulate the Journey House and all its supporters for the work and effort to make this wonderful facility a reality," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "We're proud of what they've accomplished and look forward to this serving the community well into the future."
About Journey House
Established in 1969, Journey House works with the community utilizing a self-help philosophy in order to increase education, reduce unemployment, lower the incidence of crime, strengthen the family structure and revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. The organization, located in Milwaukee's near south side Clarke Square neighborhood, served over 4,100 youth and families with its programs in 2012. For more information about Journey House, visit www.journeyhouse.org.