Morris School District will receive a $200,000 grant from the New York Jets as part of the National Football League Grassroots Program, it was announced Tuesday.
The grant, awarded by the Jets, the NFL Youth Football Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), is part of $2.5 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year. It will be used for the installation of a synthetic field at Morristown High School Memorial Field. This will enable the field to be utilized by 20 school- and community-based sports teams.
"We're very excited that we're able to give Morristown High School an artificial turf field through the NFL's Grassroots Program," said Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson. "This field will not only help the high school athletic teams excel but will benefit the entire area. Making a difference in our community on a daily basis, particularly in our own back yard, is of paramount importance to us. This field will enable students and Morris County residents alike to stay active and engaged in organized sports activities throughout the year."
"We are extremely grateful to the New York Jets and the National Football League for their generous support of our district's effort to renovate Morristown High School's Memorial Field, which for generations served as the heart of community activities," said Dr. Thomas Ficarra, Morristown High School superintendent of schools. "An artificial turf surface will provide students, community-based sports programs and local residents year-round access to this important community asset."
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, goalposts 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."
"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."
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 nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Since 1980, LISC has raised more than $9 billion to build or rehab more than 244,000 affordable homes and develop 36 million square feet of retail, community and educational space nationwide. LISC support has leveraged nearly $28 billion in total development activity. For more information, visit www.lisc.org.