Saving Grace Ministries has been granted $50,000 by the Buffalo Bills through the National Football League Foundation Grassroots Program to install a new playing field at the East Ferry Sports Complex. The site was previously occupied by the Humboldt YMCA.
The Buffalo Sabres Foundation and the True Community Development Corporation are also involved in the project.
The grant from the Bills, the NFL Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is part of more than $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
The NFL Foundation/LISC Grassroots Program, a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, the nation’s leading community development support organization, has committed nearly $43 million to the program since 1998, supporting 322 projects nationwide. Fields are newly built or significantly renovated, with improvements including irrigation systems, lights, bleachers, scoreboards, goal posts and turf. Grassroots grants are issued once established funding thresholds are reached for each project.
“The Buffalo Bills along with the National Football League Foundation are truly proud to partner together and improve the recreational opportunities for residents in the city of Buffalo,” said Bills owner and NFL Foundation board member Kim Pegula. “We believe these types of grassroots partnerships between the NFL and our community partners will have a positive impact on Western New York 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 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.
“Our mission at LISC is to help build healthy and resilient communities of opportunity and choice – good places to live, work, do business, visit and raise families,” said Maurice Jones, LISC president and CEO. “Developing quality recreational assets and experiences is a key part of that journey, and the NFL has been a committed partner in making that happen.”