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Reds announce winner of fields makeover

CINCINNATI -- Each year since 2010, the Reds Community Fund and Procter & Gamble North America Marketing have partnered to select a neighborhood in the Greater Cincinnati area and renovate its baseball fields and assist in other community projects.

This year's winner, the Reds announced on Tuesday, is the Avondale neighborhood, which sits about five miles away from Great American Ball Park. Along with a total makeover of three baseball fields behind the Hirsch Recreation Center, the project includes the construction of a new T-ball field and a hoop house -- much like a greenhouse -- for the community garden at Gabriel's Place.

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"The impact that this investment will make at Gabriel's Place, Hirsch Recreational Center and the ballfields will be huge and long lasting," Executive Director of the Avondale Comprehensive Development Corp. Ozie Davis said in a release. "The people of Avondale are forever grateful."

Work on the project began this spring, and the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati Zoo and various other groups have helped or are expected to help out along the way. On Aug. 8, more than 300 volunteers from Procter & Gamble and the Reds Community Fund will gather in Avondale and volunteer their services to assist in the renovations and construction. The Reds' grounds crew and the team's corporate sponsors and partners will also provide additional support.

While the annual project is designed to improve and increase participation in youth baseball and softball programs in the Cincinnati area, the Reds hope the effects go beyond baseball.

"We are excited about this project not only because are we rebuilding fields to get more kids to play baseball, we are helping with the transformation of Avondale into a better community for all of its residents," Reds Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini said.

Cincinnati Reds