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January 28, 2020 – Indianapolis’ MSD of Decatur Township Devere Fair Stadium will get a new synthetic turf field, thanks in part to a $250,000 grant by the Indianapolis Colts through the NFL Foundation Grassroots Program.
Devere Fair Stadium is the home field of Decatur Township high and middle schools and also hosts activities with the Decatur Youth Football League, Decatur Township Performing Arts, the Special Olympics, Decatur Youth Soccer and Decatur Middle School soccer.
The grant from the Colts, the NFL Foundation, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to the Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township is part of $3 million in field refurbishment awards allocated this year.
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.
The Devere Fair Stadium field marks the 10th field* in Indianapolis that has been funded through the Grassroots program, totaling more than $1.2 million in grants for Indianapolis fields.
“The entire Colts organization is so pleased to partner with the NFL Foundation and LISC to bring this new field to Devere Fair Stadium and our friends in Decatur Township,” said Kalen Jackson, Colts vice chair & owner. “These types of projects not only provide opportunities for people of all ages to be active and healthy, but by creating and improving our places of gathering and celebration, they also help build a sense of community.”
LISC identifies local, nonprofit, community-based organizations 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 organizations oversee the construction, maintenance and programming of the fields.
“Safe, accessible places to play and exercise are part of what makes neighborhoods healthy and sustainable,” said Tedd Grain, LISC Indianapolis Executive Director. “Our partnership with the Indianapolis Colts and the NFL Foundation is devoted to building the infrastructure, through partnerships and resident involvement, to help sustain open spaces for community use.”
"It is with great excitement that we want to acknowledge the commitment of the Indianapolis Colts and the National Football League to award the MSD of Decatur Township with the NFL Grassroots Grant to assist with the replacement and upgrade of our playing surface at Devere Fair Stadium,” said Dr. Matt Prusiecki, Superintendent, MSD of Decatur Township. “This field is utilized by all ages, from athletics to fine arts, where our students and our families are the true recipients of the NFL's generosity. This grant will allow MSD of Decatur Township to provide a first-class facility for a community that truly deserves it. We are both honored and humbled by being the recipients of this grant and look forward to the many years of safe activity this playing surface will provide our children."
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.
Together with residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America, equipping them 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.
*The 10 fields include Douglas Park (1999), Gustafson Park (2003), Ben Davis High School Football Field (2004), Lutheran High School Football Field (2005), Christian Park (2006), Evans Football Field (2007), George Washington Community High School (2008), The Legacy Recreation Center/ Arsenal Tech High School (2009), Central Greens Field (2013) and MSDof Decatur TownshipDevere Fair Stadium (2019).