Little League Urban Initiative Takes Part in Field Dedication for Lighthouse Little League in Philadelphia
“Little League is pleased to complete this field renovation, and is proud of the impact it will have on the community which Lighthouse Little League serves in Northeast Philadelphia,” David L. James, director of the Little League Urban Initiative, said. “Lighthouse Inc. is a deserving recipient of this latest project. It has done an outstanding job at providing a quality Little League program for the children and adults of this community.”
A dedication ceremony was held at the field to unveil the improvements that include a new infield and backstop, foul line fencing and renovations to the dugout area. Among those attending the ceremony were Mr. James; Bill Giles, chairman of Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies; and Milt Thompson, Phillies’ hitting instructor.
“Today is a new beginning to an old tradition for The Lighthouse Field,” Jose Robles, president of Lighthouse Little League, said. “To provide a safe, clean and modern sports facility to serve the community and its children from one generation to the next was done so with the support of The Lighthouse, our local league volunteers, the Little League Urban Initiative, and in memory of Esther Kelly Bradford, founder of The Lighthouse.”
The costs of renovations and improvements to the Lighthouse Little League field totaled $90,000. A portion of the Little League Urban Initiative’s contribution was made possible by the donation provided through Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” program.
The Little League Urban Initiative provides assistance packages for eligible leagues that aid the local volunteer group with equipment acquisition, capital improvement cash grants, field improvement and renovation, access to Little League Baseball and Softball education and training programs, advocacy, and networking.
- A component of Little League Baseball and Softball, the Little League Urban Initiative began in 1999 with programs in Los Angeles, and Harlem, N.Y., and expanded to other cities in 2000.
- The Little League Urban Initiative is now operating with more than 200 leagues in nearly 85 cities in the United States.
- Through the 2006 Little League season, the Little League Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of 2,779 teams, which equals out to approximately 33,000 players, and has participated in 18 field renovation/development projects.
This past Memorial Day weekend, through the support of the Torii Hunter Project and Major League Baseball, Little League International hosted the fourth annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree. Several Major Leaguers, and the Minnesota Twins, have joined with the Twins’ all-star outfielder to contribute to the project which afforded 14 Urban Initiative leagues the opportunity to send 10 Major Division Little League baseball teams and four Junior League baseball teams to Williamsport, Pa., site of the annual Little League Baseball World Series, to experience the thrill of a weekend of friendly games, instruction and education.
|Players from Lighthouse Little League in Philadelphia, Pa., joined Milt Thompson (back row), Philadelphia Phillies’ hitting instructor at a dedication ceremony for the league’s renovated field. Among those attending the ceremony were: David James, director of the Little League Urban Initiative, and Bill Giles, chairman of the Phillies.|