GRAND PORTAGE, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa with a $100,000 grant to replace the playground equipment at the Grand Portage Community Center. The grant is part of the 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, 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.
The Community Center playground serves as the recess area for Oshki Ogimaag Charter School and is the center play-space for the children of Grand Portage. The MNSBHC Legacy Fund will help make important safety upgrades and facilitate the installation of new ground surfacing material. The playground’s existing equipment is in such disrepair that an Indian Health Service inspector recently recommended the equipment be replaced.
To commemorate the grant dedication, the MNSBHC and Grand Portage community joined the Lake Superior Chippewa tribe today for a ground breaking event at the site of the playground. The ceremony included a powwow featuring the Stonebridge Singers and a luncheon at the Oshki Ogimaag Charter School gym. Shawls and ribbon vests were handmade by women in the Community to be presented to each child for dancing at this special celebration.
“This grant will allow children in Grand Portage to engage in exercise and play on equipment that is functional and safe,” said Norman Deschampe, Tribal Chairman, Grand Portage Reservation Tribal Council. “The new playground is something we’re so proud to introduce today; this resource will encourage physical activity and community engagement and helps us continue to progress on our mission to reduce obesity and address the health disparities Native American children face.”
The Community Center Playground is a collaborative effort between the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Community Center, Grand Portage Health Services and Oshki Ogimaag Charter School. The Grand Portage Community Center will manage and maintain the playground equipment after installation.
“The children of Grand Portage needed new playground equipment to safely play, and these organizations stepped up to address the issue,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are grateful to work with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the other organizations as part of our 52 Weeks of Giving. We are very excited to help provide underserved Native American youth with opportunities for physical activity.”
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.