George Washington Community High School Receives Grant Through NFL Grassroots Program
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Colts are pleased to announce that George Washington Community High School has received assistance to renovate its football facility with a new grant as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program.
The program is supporting the development and renovation of 17 community fields across the country with grants totaling more than $2.5 million being directed to schools, parks and facilities. George Washington Community High School, affiliated with the Indianapolis Colts and the Indianapolis market, was chosen as one of the recipients of the grants.
"We are very excited that George Washington High School was chosen as one of the recipients of the NFL Grassroots grant," said Tom Zupancic, Colts Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Washington has a rich history in the community and with their recent resurgence this grant will supply some necessary improvements for the program."
The NFL Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (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. 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.
"First of all, we're very excited about this opportunity," said Keith Burke, principal at George Washington Community High School. "Anytime you can help out the kids, give them better equipment, a better opportunity to perform, it's gratifying. We're getting a new scoreboard, which is awesome. The one we have is probably 40 years old now. The new one will be state-of-the-art. We're getting equipment and materials to help our concession stands, which will make our facility more appealing, and we're getting new sideline benches and new goalposts. The goalposts we have now are crooked to the point where officials last season were threatening not to play a game. There are lots of kids that get to play on state-of-the-art fields and in nice facilities, and now this gives our kids the same opportunity as other kids from across the state."
A partnership between the NFL, the NFL Players Association and the LISC, the Grassroots Program has awarded $25 million in grants over 11 years to local nonprofits focused on the health and welfare of their communities, particularly in regards to their young people.
"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."
"At LISC, we are focused on helping distressed communities become good places to live, work, do business and raise families," said Michael Rubinger, LISC president and CEO. "We call it Building Sustainable Communities, and developing sound recreational opportunities is a key piece of our work. The NFL has been a committed partner in helping make that happen in neighborhoods all over the country."