Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Awards First Legacy Grant to the Loppet Foundation
Wed Feb 08 00:00:00 CST 2017

Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today kicked off its 52 Weeks of Giving with a grant dedication to The Loppet Foundation to help facilitate construction of The Trailhead: A Home for Year-Round Outdoor Adventure in Theodore Wirth Park. In order to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event, the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee’s Legacy Fund will award grants weekly in 52 communities throughout the state as part of its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign. Betsy Hodges, Mayor of Minneapolis, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, and Legacy Fund Co-Chairs Wendy Nelson and Eric Jolley joined a group of more than 100 hundred supporters and children at the event.

The Trailhead, slated for construction this year, is a public-private partnership between the Loppet Foundation and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. The project will include a year-round facility and improved recreational areas in Theodore Wirth Park. The Trailhead will help to advance equity in outdoor recreation, and expand the Loppet Foundation’s youth outreach abilities to improve community engagement and health.

“Since 2002, 9,000 young people from our neighboring community of North Minneapolis have taken part in our youth programs,” said John Munger, executive director of the Loppet Foundation. “The Super Bowl Legacy Fund grant brings us closer to building a facility and expanding our infrastructure so we can continue engaging young people in physical activity, year-round. We’re grateful to the MNSBHC for helping to facilitate experiences that help young people develop into healthy, engaged leaders in our community.”

The Loppet Foundation partners with elementary, middle and high schools nearby Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. Third through 12th graders participate in outdoor activities like mountain biking, cross country skiing, trail running, paddling and orienteering. Emerging research suggests a correlation between lack of outdoor activity and increased mental and physical health challenges. Loppet programming empowers youth through sports, outdoor recreation and teamwork. Participants build critical social-emotional skills as they collaborate with their peers in a supportive and achievement-oriented environment.

“The Loppet Foundation is an organization that represents what the Legacy Fund is all about: improving the health and wellness of Minnesotans and celebrating our Bold North way of life ,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are thrilled to kick-off our 52 Weeks of Giving by supporting the foundation’s effort to increase access for young people to participate in year-round outdoor adventures.”

To commemorate the official kick-off of 52 Weeks of Giving, the MNSBHC Legacy Fund and the Loppet Foundation is hosting outdoor fun for students from Lucy Craft Laney Community School and local officials and community leaders. Starting at 12:30 p.m. today, instructors and youth leaders from the Loppet Foundation will lead participants in snow shoeing, winter biking and snow tubing at the future site of The Trailhead to celebrate the grant dedication and life in the Bold North.

In addition to community grants and as part of the 52 Weeks of Giving, the MNSBHC will provide the equipment and infrastructure costs needed for schools in 52 communities to facilitate Breakfast-in-the-Classroom – a Super School Breakfast – a program that provides nutritious breakfast for students.

The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

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