<span> <span style="">NEW ORLEANS, LA.</span> – The 9th Ward Field of Dreams project at Carver High School will receive a $200,000 grant from the New Orleans Saints as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program, it was announced today.
The grant is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year to community groups in areas in the 32 NFL markets.
"The Saints are pleased to award a grant to G.W. Carver High School for the Field of Dreams," said Saints Owner and Executive Vice President, RITA BENSON LEBLANC. "The opportunity for our youth to participate in football and other sports has always been very important to our family and the entire Saints organization. We're proud to support this project that will continue the recovery of the upper ninth ward while providing yet another world class field in which our local high school athletes may compete."
As part of the 9th Ward Field of Dreams project, a new synthetic turf field will be installed at G.W. Carver High School's 65-acre campus located in the Desire community. The field is part of the rebuilding of the school campus that includes the high school, middle school and elementary school.
The Field of Dreams grant is one of many ways the New Orleans Saints support youth football and safe playing areas throughout the city. Since 2006, the Saints have distributed more than $2 million to high school and youth football organizations to help in their post-Katrina rebuilding process. This includes the installation of a state-of-the-art synthetic field at Pan American Stadium in historic City Park.
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 11 years, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted over $25 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.
"These fields help us make an impact where assistance is most needed and provide a tangible sign of our Youth Football Fund in action," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL, who also is a member of LISC's national board of directors. "We are proud to support projects that give youngsters a safe place to play and bring 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.