Cubs Charities' Diamond Project accepting applications for field improvement grants

Signature program has awarded nearly $1 million to grow youth baseball and softball across Chicago

Cubs Charities is accepting applications for 2016 Diamond Project field improvement grants through June 3. Since 2014, Cubs Charities' Diamond Project has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to support 28 youth leagues and 18 capital improvement projects across Chicago. The Diamond Project, one of Cubs Charities' three signature programs, provides funds to nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations to expand opportunities for children to play baseball and softball and improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local baseball fields or indoor training facilities.
 
Earlier this month, Cubs Charities awarded program grants to support youth baseball and softball and honored 10 organizations leading capital improvement projects during a pregame ceremony at Wrigley Field.
 
"We are proud to partner with local organizations to share our vision in providing Chicago's children with access to baseball and softball facilities and programs, as well as help develop their skills and foster a love for the game," said Cubs Charities Chair Laura Ricketts. 
 
Applications for this year's Diamond Project capital improvement grants can be found online at www.cubs.com/diamondproject and will be accepted through Friday, June 3. Organizations may apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 for field surfaces, indoor training amenities and general field and stadium support. Cubs Charities also will donate five scoreboards to local fields in partnership with Daktronics, the manufacturer of the video boards at Wrigley Field.
 
Cubs Charities will host an informational session about the Diamond Project Wednesday, May 4, at 10 a.m. CDT in the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. Interested nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations and schools in the Chicago area can email diamondproject@cubs.com to attend.
 
Cubs Charities, with assistance from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, will review all applications and select local capital improvement projects to support through Diamond Project grants. For information on how to apply, please visit www.cubs.com/diamondproject.
 
Supporting the Diamond Project:
Net proceeds from MLB-authenticated, game-used and autographed Cubs memorabilia sold through Cubs Authentics will support the Diamond Project. Fans and collectors interested in supporting Cubs Charities through the purchase of Cubs Authentics memorabilia can currently find autographed baseballs, bats and jerseys from current players, coaches and alumni at www.cubs.com/authentics.
 
Past Diamond Project Grantees:
 
Capital Improvement Grants:
Academy for Urban School Leadership
Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council
Breakthrough Urban Ministries
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
Canaryville Little League
Friends of Alcott
Friends of Amundsen
Mather High School/Park
Near West Side CDC
Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club
New Life Centers of Chicagoland
Perspectives Charter Schools
South Central Community Services
South Side Little League
 
Program Grants:
Athletes for Christ Association Youth Baseball
AUSL Middle School Baseball
Blue Jays - Salvation Army
Brighton Kelly Little League Baseball
BUILD Peace League
Chicago Comets
Chicago Little League
Chicago Public League
Englewood Police Youth Baseball League
Future Entrepreneurs of America
Garfield Park Little League
Hamlin Park Baseball Association
Horner Park North-West Little League
Josephinum Academy
Kilbourn Park Little League
Little Village Little League
Little Village Summer Softball League
Ludeman Stingers
Lost Boyz Inc. (Rosemore Little League)
Near South Little League
Near West Side CDC
Oz Park Baseball Association
Roberto Clemente Little League
Roseland Little League
South Side Little League
Warren Park Youth Baseball League
Welles Park Parents Association
West Lawn Little League 
 
Photo Caption:
Cubs Charities Chair Laura Ricketts and pitcher Kyle Hendricks honor 2015 Cubs Charities Diamond Project grantees before the April 14 game against the Cincinnati Reds.
 
About Cubs Charities: Cubs Charities harnesses the passion of Cubs fans to improve the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond. Cubs Charities' goal is to provide increased access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Through grants to quality nonprofit programs, development of parks and baseball fields, and other community initiatives, the Cubs and Cubs Charities help fulfill a commitment to be the best in the game, on and off the field. For more information, visit www.cubscharities.org