Major Grant awarded for Tom Fontaine Park Rehab

Did You Know?

Groundbreaking for ballfields back in December

The United Way of Central Georgia, powered by support from the Atlanta Braves, has been awarded a field refurbishment grant to rehabilitate the two historic fields at Tom Fontaine Park. The Scotts Company LLC (Scotts) and Major League Baseball (MLB) awarded a $50,000 grant to refurbish one field, and the Braves have committed to renovate the second field to ensure that both fields will be done in time for the upcoming season.

These fields, near Matilda Hartley Elementary School, will boost civic pride and provide positive sports-related activities for the children of West Macon and beyond. The fields host both Macon Little League and the MLB RBI program. Scotts® Field Refurbishment Program awarded only four grants from more than 350 grant applications across 315 cities in 43 states.

United Way President and CEO George McCanless said the Braves and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation were keys to securing the grant.

“With the new $1.5 Million MLB RBI Youth Development park that will be constructed next to these fields, the Tom Fontaine Park complex will soon rival any similar complexes in Central Georgia,” McCanless said. “It’s a spring board to allowing even more deserving boys and girls the opportunity to participate in our character building youth sports and education-support initiatives.”

The other winners of the grant program are: The Red Sox Foundation in partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (MA), Journey House (WI) and DREAM (formerly known as Harlem RBI) (NY).

“Creating safe, quality places for kids to play is an important component in growing and retaining participation in our sport,” said Tony Reagins, MLB Senior Vice President of Youth Programs. The winning organizations were chosen by a blue-ribbon panel which included: Two-time World Series champion & ESPN analyst David Ross; Olympic Gold Medalist & MLB Youth Softball Ambassador Jennie Finch; World Series champion & MLB Network analyst Cliff Floyd.; MLB Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Kim Ng; Scotts Vice President & General Manager Josh Peoples.

“To be able to help a growing number of communities each year as part of this unique program is truly a pleasure. It is always incredible to see the impact these field refurbishments are having on kids in their communities,” said Peoples, referring to the Scotts® program.

More than $250,000 in repairs and upgrades will be made across five fields this spring