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Pirates Charities Announce First Round of Fields For Kids Grants for 2017

Pirates Charities, the official philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, today announced the recipients of the first round of the "Fields for Kids" matching grant program for 2017. This is the first of two rounds of grants that will be issued during the 2017 season. 

A total of 20 youth baseball and softball organizations serving more than 5,000 youth located throughout four states are impacted in just the first round of grants. Groups in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia were awarded grants to help ensure their programs continue to thrive. 

Pirates Charities, the official philanthropic arm of the Pittsburgh Pirates, today announced the recipients of the first round of the "Fields for Kids" matching grant program for 2017. This is the first of two rounds of grants that will be issued during the 2017 season. 

A total of 20 youth baseball and softball organizations serving more than 5,000 youth located throughout four states are impacted in just the first round of grants. Groups in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia were awarded grants to help ensure their programs continue to thrive. 

In 2016, Pirates Charities adjusted the program and increased individual allotments in order to assist those organizations in greater need of funds. Thanks to the new guidelines, five of the 20 recipient organizations received matching grants up to $10,000 and one organizations received $25,000 from Pirates Charities to help with their renovations.

The positive impact of the Fields for Kids grants can be seen throughout western Pennsylvania as eight of the 12 counties receiving grants are in the state with the remaining five counties residing in Ohio (3), West Virginia (1) and Maryland (1). 

In Allegheny County, the Brookline Little League Association received the largest matching grant this cycle as $25,000 in assistance was awarded to benefit the organization that serves more than 350 area youth. The funds will assist in field surface remodel, drainage installation, electric upgrades and dugout and fence repair.

Others throughout Allegheny County include a $10,000 matching grant to the Greater Baldwin Whitehall Athletic Association for field reconditioning of three league fields to support the more than 750 participants. The Borough of Etna received a $5,000 grant to assist with netting and a portable mound purchase as well as bleacher and picnic table replacement. The Ingomar Franklin Park Athletic Association serves more than 800 youth and received more than $4,000 to help with a new scoreboard installation.

Three organizations in Beaver County received assistance through Fields for Kids grants as the Blackhawk Area Youth Baseball Association, the Ambridge Bridger Baseball Association and the Riverside Baseball Federation all received grants of up to $5,000. More than 700 youth in the County will benefit from the projects such as batting cage installations, netting and lighting installments and more.

Three organizations in Fayette County received Fields for Kids grants as the Masontown German Park Youth Baseball & Softball Association, the Connellsville Pony & Colt League, and the   Jefferson Township Youth Organization will each receive funds towards renovations. Jefferson Township received $8,500 to assist with fencing, batting cage, scoreboard and dugout repairs for their nearly 150 participants. Masontown and Connellsville each received up to $5,000 to help with projects such as dugout and bleacher repairs as well as batting cage installation.

Two organizations in Westmoreland County were granted funds for renovations as the West Newton Recreation Board received $3,800 for Pony League level field renovations and Ligonier Youth Baseball and Softball Association was awarded $5,000 for various improvements to nine league fields.

In Venango County, AC Valley Little League received $5,000 for their project for dugout improvements, infield mix purchase, step construction, fencing repair and more. In Washington County, the Mon Valley Alliance received funds to help with the installation of a new scoreboard. In Butler County, the Butler Township Baseball Association received $5,000 towards fence replacement for the group that serves more than 380 players. In Cambria County, the Mainline Baseball group were awarded more than $4,700 towards scoreboard installation, backstop repairs, dugout and infield updates.

Other counties outside of Pennsylvania impacted by the first round of grants are:

  • Allegany County in Maryland: The Mayor and City Council of Cumberland Maryland, Cumberland, MD, received a $10,000 matching grant to assist with outfield and infield grading in addition to electric updates, bullpen improvements, and backstop upgrades. The field under maintenance is Al Abrams field, named after the former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sports editor. The Dapper Dan Club of Allegany County also supports the project along with the Cumberland Broadcasting Company/Pirates radio affiliate WCBC Radio.
  • Belmont County in Ohio: The Powhatan River Bandits Baseball in Powhatan Point, OH, received a $5,000 matching grant to assist in the repair of backstop fencing, bleacher repair, infield mix and safety improvements to their concession stand.
  • Clay County in West Virginia: The Clay County Little League in Clay, WV, were the recipients of a $10,000 matching grant to help with flood rehabilitation to their fields. The organization serves over 300 area youth.
  • Harrison County in Ohio: The Huskies Sports Foundation in Cadiz, OH, received a $10,000 matching grant to help with their batting cage installation project to benefit their more than 200 youth participants.

The Fields for Kids program is one of Pirates Charities' signature programs and provides financial support to improve youth baseball and/or softball facilities through matching grants. Grant funds may be used for the upgrading of essential field components such as sod, infield playing surfaces, fencing, dugouts and irrigation systems. Upgrades to the overall facility, including lights, bleachers, scoreboards and concession stands are also eligible.  

Since the Fields for Kids program's inception in 2009, a total of 271 individual grants have been distributed in the greater Pittsburgh region, in addition to 38 total grants in the Pirates Spring Training Home of Bradenton, Florida since the program began there in 2011. To find out more information including a downloadable application forthe Fields for Kids program, please visit pirates.com/piratescharities. Second round applications for 2017 are due by August 1.

Pittsburgh Pirates