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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2009 > January - April > Little League Urban Initiative, Hilton Foundation Unveils Renovated Little League Fields in Bronx, N.Y.

Little League Urban Initiative, Hilton Foundation Unveils Renovated Little League Fields in Bronx, N.Y.

Little League Urban Initiative, Hilton Foundation Unveils Renovated Little League Fields in Bronx, N.Y.

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The Little League Urban Initiative and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation have collaborated on a multi-field revitalization project that will benefit the Bronxchester, Parkchester and Van Nest Little Leagues in Bronx, N.Y.

A dedication ceremony was held at Van Nest Little League Field on Saturday, April 4 to unveil the improvements made by Landmark Construction Solutions and Tristate Athletic Field Services and Supplies that include a new sod and new sprinkler system for Van Nest Little League; a new infield surface for Bronx Chester Little League; and reconditioning of the Little League field and construction of a Tee Ball Field for Parkchester Little League. All three leagues will participate in the festivities.

“Little League is pleased to complete this renovation project, and is proud of the impact it will have on the neighborhoods which these Little Leagues serve in The Bronx,” Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “These three leagues have done an outstanding job in providing quality Little League programs for the children in the borough. They are deserving recipients of this latest project, and we thank the Hilton Foundation for their continued support.”

BronxFieldDedication2_400pxThe cost of the renovations and improvements to the fields located on the Bronx State Hospital campus totaled $250,000, and were made available through a grant from the Hilton Foundation. This is the first project where Hilton Foundation funds have been dispersed over multiple fields.

The Bronx State Hospital annually leases the field on its campus to the three leagues. The complex has adjacent fields, which are dedicated to each league and each field will display a plaque highlighting the Hilton Foundation donation.

“These renovations will definitely open everyone’s eyes about Little League in the Bronx and what we do here,” Chris Amarosa, New York District 22 Administrator, said. “I think the international involvement with the Little League in Williamsport and the Hilton Foundation will show our community that Little League is doing something for the Bronx.”

The fields are centrally-located in the district and the improvements have made the complex an inviting location as host of postseason tournament play. This year, District 22 and Section 5 games for the 9-10, 10-11 and 11-12 baseball is scheduled to be played on Bronx State Hospital Campus.

“Before this project began, the fields were in pretty bad shape,” Mr. Amarosa said. “Getting this work done will bolster enrollment and for tournament time we’ll have three beautiful ASAP-approved fields to play on.”

On Memorial Day weekend 2009, Little League International will host the sixth annual Little League Urban Initiative Jamboree. Over three days, 10 baseball teams (six Major Division; four Junior Division) will experience the thrill of traveling to Williamsport, Pa., site of the annual Little League Baseball World Series, for a weekend of friendly games, instruction and education.

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 program is currently operating in nearly 85 cities in the United States.

Through the 2008 Little League season, the Little League Urban Initiative has stimulated the participation of nearly 2,800 teams, which equates to more than 43,000 players, and has participated in 21 field renovation/development projects.

Bronxchester, Parkchester and Van Nest Little Leagues, located seven miles from Yankee Stadium, collective provide divisions of Little League Baseball and Softball for more than 1,500 players, ages 5-15 and are part of New York District 22.

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