B&G Clubs of Greater NWI awarded field grant from Scotts and MLB

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on July 28, 2020 with No Comments

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana has been named an award recipient of the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program, an initiative from the Scotts Company LLC (Scotts) and Major League Baseball (MLB) which will once again award modern, playable youth baseball and softball field refurbishments to four communities of need within the United States.

Boys & Girls Clubs is one of four grant-winning organizations selected from nearly 500 grant applications across more than 400 cities in 48 states and Washington, D.C. for the 2020 installment of the Scotts Field Refurbishment Program. The winning organizations were chosen by a special blue-ribbon panel which included three-time MLB All-Star & 2008 World Series Champion Ryan Howard, Olympic Gold Medalist and MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch, 1997 World Series Champion and MLB Network analyst Cliff Floyd, and additional executive leadership from MLB and Scotts.

Scotts will rehabilitate the field at John Will Anderson Boys & Girls Club in Gary, which has been housed in the former Tolleston School since 2013 after relocating from its prior location on Fifth Avenue. The building previously sat vacant for four years after the school closed in 2009, leaving the adjacent field nearly unplayable. The condition of the field required Boys & Girls Clubs to primarily hold its baseball programming, which is funded in part through a grant from Major League Baseball’s Play Ball program, inside the club’s gymnasium.

Boys & Girls Clubs President and CEO Ryan Smiley said the Scotts Field Refurbishment is a significant chance to revitalize baseball and softball programming for club members in Gary.

“This is huge for our kids and our organization,” Smiley said. “Our baseball program has been limited, so being able to give club members a true baseball experience outdoors on a professionally built field is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. We are hopeful this will help us reach even more kids and develop a lifelong love of the game in some of them.”

The other organizations receiving grants in 2020 include City of Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods (Memphis, Tenn.), Ferguson Parks & Recreation (Ferguson, Mo.), and the Oakland Athletics Community Fund (Oakland, Calif.). In total, more than $200,000 in repairs and upgrades on these youth fields will be completed by the end of the year.

“We’d like to congratulate this year’s grant recipients for being selected for a field refurbishment for their local communities,” said Josh Peoples of Scotts Miracle-Gro. “This year we received a record number of applications and the selection process was difficult, to say the least. Preserving greenspaces in our local communities is at the core of our Gro More Good initiative and our hope is that by refurbishing these fields, children will be able to live a healthier and more active lifestyle for years to come.”


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