Feb 9, 2018
Red Sox Foundation Wins Field Refurbishment Grant From Scotts & Major League Baseball
SCOTTS AND MLB TO REFURBISH EIGHT YOUTH FIELDS IN 2018 AS PART OF SPECIAL GRANT PROGRAM
Boston, Macon, Milwaukee and New York Community Organizations Selected for Grants by Blue Ribbon Panel
Since 2016, 20 Fields Will Have Been Refurbished with Over $1 Million Worth of Support through Scotts Field Refurbishment Program
Marysville, OH/New York, NY (February 8, 2018) — The Scotts Company LLC (Scotts) and Major League Baseball are continuing to refurbish youth baseball and softball fields around the country with eight more communities around the U.S. scheduled to receive renovations in 2018. Scotts and MLB today announced the four community organizations that will receive improvements to their local ball fields through an inaugural grant initiative that is part of the Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program. The Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program provides youth with modern, playable baseball and softball fields in American communities of need.
The winners of the grant program are: the Red Sox Foundation in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (MA), United Way of Central Georgia (GA), Journey House (WI) and DREAM (formerly known as Harlem RBI) (NY). Additionally, by winning one of the grants, the Atlanta Braves committed to helping refurbish a second field for the United Way of Central Georgia. A fifth grant will be awarded to another organization decided upon by an online vote set to launch next month. More than $250,000 in repairs and upgrades will be made across the five fields this spring.
The four grant-winning organizations announced today were selected from over 350 grant applications across 315 cities in 43 states seeking refurbishments for their youth fields. The winning organizations were chosen by a special blue-ribbon panel which included two-time World Series champion & ESPN analyst David Ross, Olympic Gold Medalist & MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch, World Series champion & MLB Network analyst Cliff Floyd, MLB Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Kim Ng, Scotts Vice President & General Manager Josh Peoples and additional executives from MLB and Scotts. The panel also selected the finalists for the online vote, those of which will be announced prior to next month’s online vote.
In addition to the five grantees, this summer Scotts and MLB will refurbish a Washington, D.C. area youth field as part of MLB’s All-Star Legacy Initiative. Scotts and MLB also plan to renovate a field in Tallahassee, FL, which will be in partnership with Ross and the city of Tallahassee’s Parks & Recreation Department.
“Having a clean, safe place to play ball is one of the most important parts of getting kids active and outside,” said Ross. “The youth in all of these communities are in for a real treat and I’m just so happy that they’ll have a greater opportunity to practice, play games, run around and just have a catch when they want. It’s wonderful to see Scotts and MLB supporting a great initiative like this for the next generation.”
More than $250,000 in repairs and upgrades will be made across the five grantee fields this spring, with another $150,000+ in support being dedicated to the three additional field refurbishments.
BOSTON, MA The Red Sox Foundation in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston serves Boston and greater New England. Constructed in 1969, the Yawkey Club Field is maintained by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and has seen thousands of youth participants play ball over the years. The club promotes healthy lifestyles and helps children focus on academics, career choices and the development of positive self-images. With clinics, increased programming in community centers and a strong commitment to youth, the Red Sox Foundation and Yawkey Club are collaborating to use this refurbished softball diamond to expand opportunities for young girls to participate all across Boston.
MACON, GA The United Way of Central Georgia serves a 14 county area of kids with the fields in Macon’s Tom Fontaine Park. These fields are adjacent to an elementary school and also host an MLB RBI team. With the United Way earning this grant from Scotts and MLB, the Braves have committed to renovating a second field at Fontaine Park, doubling the opportunity for local children to play ball in the area. The new construction and improvements at Fontaine would provide a tremendous boost of civic pride and would provide a steady stream of positive sports-related activities for the children of West Macon and beyond.
MILWAUKEE, WI Journey House is an organization that empowers families on Milwaukee’s near southside to move out of poverty through youth development and family engagement, amongst other efforts. Journey House will use this grant as part of an existing project that looks to transform the urban baseball playing infrastructure into a beautiful community for its youth scholar athletes. This youth field will become one of the centerpieces of the redevelopment of the entire 15 acre Baran Park.
NEW YORK, NY DREAM, formerly known as Harlem RBI, uses the power of teams to coach, teach and inspire youth to recognize their potential and realize their dreams. The organization’s original “Field of Dreams” has been part of the community since 1991 and serves as the home of its year-long practices, games, tournaments and special events in the heart of New York City. This grant will supply necessary and significant infrastructure repairs that will allow greater use of the field for years to come.
“Creating safe, quality places for kids to play is an important component in growing and retaining participation in our sport,” said Tony Reagins, MLB Senior Vice President of Youth Programs. “We congratulate these organizations for winning these inaugural grants and for putting the future of our game in a great position to succeed in these communities.”
“On behalf of Scotts, I’d like to commend all the recipients of this year’s field refurbishment grants,” said Josh Peoples, Vice President and General Manager at Scotts. “To be able to help a growing number of communities each year as part of this unique program is truly a pleasure. It is always incredible to see the impact these field refurbishments are having on kids in their communities. We want to help MLB grow the game and make sure kids have the green space they need to head outside and play ball. We believe these nine additional fields will do just that and we look forward to continuing the Field Refurbishment Program.”
MLB and Scotts, a long-time league sponsor, began the Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program prior to the 2016 championship season to provide kids with modern, playable ball fields in communities around the U.S. This program is part of Scotts’ efforts as an official partner of the ‘PLAY BALL’ initiative, MLB’s collective effort to encourage young people and communities to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities, including formal leagues, events and casual forms of play. In its first two seasons, the Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program renovated a dozen fields with nearly $1 million of support. At the conclusion of the 2018 season, those numbers will surpass 20 fields and $1M.
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