GAINESVILLE, Ga. — The Atlanta United Community Fund, an associate-led fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, opened the second mini-pitch of the GA 100 campaign in Gainesville, Georgia, on Wednesday. The mini-pitch was built through a grant to United Way of Hall County in partnership with Gainesville City Parks and Recreation. Located at Myrtle Street Park, the mini-pitch will benefit those in the surrounding neighborhood of the park and will be incorporated into Gainesville City Parks and Recreation’s programming.
GA 100 is a campaign created by the Atlanta United Community Fund and in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) with the goal of constructing up to 100 mini-pitches in under-resourced communities across Georgia. The Atlanta United Community Fund is part of a unique grantmaking program at the Blank Family Foundation. The fund is led by a committee of Blank Family of Businesses associates who inform funding priorities, evaluate grant applications, conduct site visits and monitor the impact of their grants.
"GA 100 is not just about soccer pitches,” said Britt Davis, Atlanta United Community Fund committee member and manager, brand marketing, The Home Depot Backyard. “It’s about connection, accessibility and creating new avenues to a world of opportunities. These pitches provide communities with a space to play, engage and learn from different backgrounds through the unity of the Beautiful Game."
Myrtle Street Park was identified by Gainesville Parks and Recreation as the ideal location for the mini-pitch as members of the community often played soccer on the park’s existing basketball court. The new turf pitch is adjacent to the basketball court and features lighting, bleacher seating, shade structures, sidewalks and netting and railing that outlines the field.
Wednesday's event was attended by Atlanta United President and CEO Garth Lagerwey, players Brad Guzan, Machop Chol, Ronald Hernandez, Amar Sejdic and Tyler Wolff, Gainesville Mayor Sam Couvillon and United Way of Hall County President and CPO Jessica Dudley.
"We believe that this project will improve the lives of youth and families in our community through opportunities for safe sports and recreation," said Dudley.
United Way of Hall County is the largest private funding source of health and human services in Hall County and works daily to help improve lives in its community by focusing on Education, Health, and Financial Stability.
The Atlanta United Community Fund awarded $1.5 million to LISC to lead installation of the first 20 mini-pitches across the state. Seventeen organizations have received grants and all 20 pitches are either completed or in development.