BROOKLYN PARK, MN – Today, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund in partnership with the National Football League (NFL) awarded Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth with a $90,000 grant to expand the organization’s “Rec on the Go” (ROTG) program that is implemented through the leadership of the Cities of Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park Recreation Services Departments. This grant marks $1 million in funds donated so far to Minnesota community projects focused on the health and wellness of kids.
The grant is part of the Minnesota Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
ROTG is a free program for kids and teenagers in underserved neighborhoods of both Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park. Its mobile recreation vehicles transport sports equipment, activities and healthy food to scheduled locations making recreational activity more accessible for kids and families living in both communities. The MNSBHC Legacy Fund grant will help the Alliance expand its program by purchasing a third vehicle to bring activities and services, such as basketball and flag football, to more teens in the community.
The Alliance held a community celebration today at the Zanewood Recreation Facility in Brooklyn Park to commemorate the grant. Kevin Warren, Chief Operating Officer of the Minnesota Vikings, Peter O’Reilly, Senior Vice President of Events for the NFL, and community leaders attended the event to celebrate the progress and success of the Alliance’s community efforts. Following the grant dedication, former Minnesota Vikings linebacker, E.J. Henderson, and Viktor the Viking led kids and teens in various football skills and drills activities.
“Before Rec on the Go was established, 65 percent of young people who are part of this program had never participated in recreational activity,” Rebecca Gilgen, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth. “This grant will help us expand to reach teenagers in Brooklyn Park who may not have access to safe and exciting activities. Our Cities have created an amazing program that is in high-demand and these funds allow us to continue to bring resources for physical activity and healthy nutrition to many more kids and teens throughout the Brooklyns.”
ROTG is a collaborative effort between the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth, the City of Brooklyn Park, the City of Brooklyn Center, Partners in Nutrition and many local public schools. The operations and maintenance of the new ROTG vehicle will be run by the Recreation and Parks department at the City of Brooklyn Park. The Alliance and its partners will be responsible for facilitating the evaluation and partnerships need to enhance and expand programming.
“The ability to expand the Rec on the Go program to more teens is an important endeavor,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “In planning this broader 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the work of the Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth was consistently a reference point for a successful effort in improving the health and wellness of our kids. We are so pleased to celebrate the Legacy Fund’s $1 million milestone in this community, and to support the expansion of this organization to reach more young people in Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center.”
“We are proud to partner with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee and the Minnesota Vikings on the Legacy Fund program to make a positive impact on the future of local youth,” said Peter O'Reilly, NFL Senior Vice President of Events. “As we countdown to Super Bowl LII, we will continue to work together to leave a lasting off-the-field legacy in communities across Minnesota.”
In addition to providing 52 community grants leading up to Super Bowl LII, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee has established a ‘Super School Breakfast’ campaign that will implement Fuel Up to Play 60’s Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program in K-12 schools communities statewide. This campaign is an additional cornerstone of the MNSBHC Legacy Fund’s 52 Weeks of Giving initiative and will resume in September, following public school summer vacation.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to support the planning and execution of Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.