CLARKSTON, Ga. (Sept. 12, 2023) — The Atlanta United Community Fund, an associate-led fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, opened three mini-pitches as part of the GA 100 campaign in Gwinnett County on Saturday, Sept. 9. The mini-pitches were built through a grant to UPPER90, a non-profit which empowers children in underserved communities through the platform of soccer by providing mentoring and after-school soccer programming. The GA 100 grant refurbished a pair of mini-pitches in Clarkston at the Friendship Center and the English Oaks community and built a new soccer mini-pitch at the Gwinnett Estates mobile home community in Loganville.
Saturday’s launch event at the Friendship Center mini-pitch was attended by Atlanta United players Xande Silva and Jay Fortune.
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.
The three mini-pitches will enhance both UPPER90’s and Envision Atlanta’s programming at the Friendship Center, as well as benefit the Clarkston and Loganville communities at large. The city of Clarkston is known for its diversity and is home to refugees from across the world.
“At UPPER90, we leverage the platform of the world’s sport – soccer – and the influence of mentor coaches to equip and empower a generation to win on the field and in life,” said Jorge Vallejo, UPPER90 Founder and CEO. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Atlanta United Community Fund and LISC on the GA 100 campaign. This partnership allows us to create access to a safe space for children growing up in vulnerable communities, where they can play, learn and develop.”
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 received grants, and all 20 pitches are either completed or in development. The Fund recently awarded $3.36 million for the next phase of the GA 100 campaign to construct up to 30 additional mini-pitches across the state. The Atlanta United Community Fund is now accepting requests for proposals in partnership with LISC for a matching grant of up to $100,000. For more information and to apply for GA 100, visit atlutd.com/ga100. The deadline for proposal submissions is Oct. 30, 2023.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA UNITED COMMUNITY FUND
The Atlanta United Community Fund (AUCF) strives to make the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across the state of Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, our grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUCF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate. AUCF is an associate-led fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.
LISC is one the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and local economies can thrive. Since our founding, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments, develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.