The Bengals and the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program teamed up to contribute $250,000 to Harrison High School to install a new synthetic turf field. The new game field, along with a practice field that is also being built, will allow for more football games and practices, as well as other sporting events and community usage.
The grant from the Bengals, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to the school is part of the second round of $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
"Harrison High School is honored to be selected as the recipient of this grant," said Mark Meibers, Harrison High School Athletic Director. "Our community is experiencing rapid growth, and a turf practice field in addition to the turf game field will provide opportunities for an increasing number of student-athletes at all age levels."
The "Inspired by Excellence" Wildcats stadium renovation project is being spear-headed by the Harrison Athletic Boosters with the goal of providing the Harrison community with a state-of-the-art space to learn, grow, develop and compete. The project is being funded solely by grants and donations. No tax dollars are being utilized.
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 376 football fields nationwide since 1998. During that time, the NFL Foundation has granted nearly $61 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.
"It's always great to be able to give back and make a difference, so we're honored to have played a role in helping this project come to fruition," said Bengals Executive Vice President Katie Blackburn. "We look forward to seeing the finished fields and the positive impact they will have on youth for years to come."
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.
"Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) works with residents and partners to forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunities – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families," said said Kathy Schwab, Executive Director of LISC, Greater Cincinnati. "We could not be more pleased than to support our youth in this community."
The grant is the latest in an ongoing program in which the Bengals and the NFL have coordinated to distribute over $2.3 million to local schools for new fields. Other schools include Bishop Brossart, Clinton-Massie High School, Covington Catholic High School, Deer Park Jr./Sr. High School, La Salle High School, Lockland High School, Oak Hills High School, Taylor High School, South Avondale Elementary School, Withrow University High School and Midway Elementary School.
About the NFL Foundation
The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit 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 represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health and safety of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.
LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, program strategy and know-how to become places where people can thrive. It combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources. Since 1980, LISC has invested $20 billion to build or rehab 400,500 affordable homes and apartments and develop 67 million square feet of retail, community and educational space—including athletic facilities and other recreational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.