NFL/LISC GRASSROOTS PROGRAM AND CLEVELAND BROWNS GRANT $250,000 TO INSTALL AN ARTIFICIAL TURF FIELD AT OLMSTED FALLS HIGH SCHOOL’S VITAMIX FIELD AT HARDING MEMORIAL STADIUM
Award is part of $6 million in new grants to athletic fields nationwide
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(January 27, 2022) – The Olmsted Falls City School District has been granted $250,000 by the Cleveland Browns through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program to install an artificial turf field at Olmsted Falls High School's Vitamix Field at Charles A. Harding Memorial Stadium.
The grant from the Browns, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of $6 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation Grassroots Program – a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support organization – has supported the construction or renovation of 416 football fields nationwide since 1998. During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $58 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 are excited to help bring a new high-quality turf field to Olmsted Falls City Schools and greatly appreciate the NFL/LISC Grassroots Program’s commitment to the region through our long-standing partnership,” said Browns Vice President of Community Relations Jenner Tekancic. “As we have seen through our team’s field construction initiative, led by the Haslam and Johnson families, the new surfaces serve as incredible educational resources and further promote student engagement and participation in multiple sports, fully aligning with the Browns’ mission to improve education and grow youth football across the state. We look forward to celebrating the completion of the project in 2022, as well as seeing many Olmsted Falls students and other community organizations benefit from its installation.”
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based agencies that have an interest in building or refurbishing football fields in schools and neighborhood parks. Through the program, local agencies are provided with the necessary financing and technical assistance to improve the quality and safety of fields in their communities. The agencies oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
“We are grateful for our continued partnership with the Cleveland Browns and NFL Foundation’s Grassroots Program, which through the years has granted over $2.2 million to create quality, safe, and accessible recreational spaces for 16 projects throughout Northeast Ohio,” said Kandis Williams, Executive Director of LISC Cleveland. “Recognizing that well-maintained recreational outlets are fundamental to overall community wellbeing, we are thrilled to award this grant to Olmsted Falls High School in support of its new field turf for Vitamix Field at Harding Memorial Stadium and the thousands of students and families in the region that will benefit as a result for years to come.”
“We are beyond thrilled to partner with LISC Cleveland and our very own Cleveland Browns to make field turf a reality on Vitamix Field at Harding Memorial Stadium,” said Olmsted Falls City Schools Superintendent Jim Lloyd. “The Olmsted Communities have been very supportive of our school district and for that we are thankful. Our financial reality is we could not have field turf without the support of some creative partnerships. We look forward to the significantly expanded access to athletic and other activities this new facility will provide for our students and our community. We will be forever grateful.”
About the NFL Foundation
The National Football League Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation and its members, the 32 NFL clubs, support the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on the NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org
LISC is one the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and local economies can thrive. Since our founding, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments, develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.
About Olmsted Falls City School District
The vision of Olmsted Falls City Schools is to inspire and empower all students to achieve their full potential and become meaningful contributors in a global society. The district prides itself on providing a “Triple A” educational experience for its students, with opportunities in academics, arts and athletics. The district has a history of academic excellence and fosters “Bulldog Pride” by exemplifying values including respect, responsibility, inclusivity, inventiveness, resilience, self-confidence, persistence, and kindness.
Rob McBurnett, Cleveland Browns
Kandis Williams, LISC
Kim Petrina, Olmsted Falls City Schools
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