Cubs charities awards more than $860,000 to 2016 diamond project grantees signature program helps to grow youth baseball and softball across 14 Chicago neighborhoods

Cubs Charities has awarded more than $860,000 to 14 Diamond Project grantees this year to help improve youth baseball and softball fields across Chicago's neighborhoods. Since 2014, Cubs Charities' Diamond Project has awarded nearly $1.8 million in grants to support 28 youth leagues and 32 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.

"It's rewarding to see the tremendous growth of the Diamond Project since its inception in 2014. From Brighton Park to Belmont Cragin, we are reaching communities across 14 Chicago neighborhoods, helping youth foster a love for diamond sports," said Cubs Charities Board Chair Laura Ricketts. "This year, we were able to expand our reach and impact in providing essential needs from new field surfaces to scoreboards, allowing Chicago's kids to play ball."

Today, members from James G. Blaine Elementary School accepted a $150,000 Diamond Project grant from Cubs Charities at their "Go Cubs Go Day." The grant will support a new turf field surface and general field maintenance, logos, backstop and netting. Cubs associates, Laura Ricketts, Cubs mascot Clark and Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel were on hand to celebrate the occasion.

Sharon Bradberry, member of the South Side Little League board of commissioners, attended the event and shared the impact Cubs Charities Diamond Project grants have had on their players, families and community.  

"The Cubs Charities Diamond Project has been an important difference maker for the South Side Little League," said Sharon Bradberry, member of the South Side Little League board of commissioners and past Diamond Project recipient. "The highlight of our 2016 opening day parade and celebration was a special ribbon cutting ceremony for our new diamond at Cole Park. We are grateful for the relationship with the Cubs."

Cubs Charities, with assistance from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, selected local capital improvement projects to receive Diamond Project grants that ranged from $10,000 to $150,000 to support field surfaces, indoor training amenities, batting cages and general field and stadium support. Cubs Charities donated seven scoreboards to local fields in partnership with Daktronics, the manufacturer of the video boards at Wrigley Field.

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 and game-used baseballs, bats and jerseys from current players, coaches and alumni at www.cubs.com/authentics.

2016 Diamond Project Capital Grantees:
Friends of Amundsen High School
Archer Manor Little League
James G. Blaine Elementary School
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
Ford Height Park District
Friends of Eckhart Park
Garfield Park Little League
Josephinum Academy
Maplewood and Lucy Flower Parks Advisory Council
Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club
Northwest Side Housing Center
Rogers Park Business Alliance
Warren Park Youth Baseball Little League
Welles Park Parents Association