SOURCE: Detroit Police Athletic League

Duffey Petrosky

February 02, 2016 11:35 ET

Detroit PAL Announces Status of Historic Tiger Stadium Campaign

DETROIT, MI--(Marketwired - February 02, 2016) - The Detroit Police Athletic League (Detroit PAL) today announced receipt of $12 million in contributions from foundations, companies and individuals designated to the nonprofit's "Kids at the Corner" capacity campaign.

Meeting this initial fundraising mark enables PAL to break ground in April at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull for a new multi-sport youth complex and headquarters to expand PAL programming to more Detroit children.

The announcement was made today by PAL Chief Executive Officer Tim Richey at a news conference held at the headquarters of longtime PAL sponsor DTE Energy and attended by Detroit city officials, major capacity campaign donors, and PAL sponsors and supporters.

Paul W. Smith, radio personality and talk show host from News/Talk 760 WJR, was the emcee for the announcement. Paul W. Smith is a generous supporter of PAL, as his Paul W. Smith Golf Classic has been Detroit PAL's largest fundraiser for the last 12 years, raising nearly $5 million.

"Thanks to honorary campaign co-chairs Senator Carl Levin and Detroit Police Chief James Craig, we are pleased to announce that major contributions by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, The Skillman Foundation, the William Davidson Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation, plus New Market Tax Credit Allocations provided by Bank of America and Great Lakes Capital have propelled us to meet and exceed every financial benchmark initially set for this initiative." Richey stated. "By April, we will begin construction at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull on a new facility that will bring to life much of the history and many of the memories of this iconic location while also serving as Detroit PAL's headquarters. I'm confident the project will honor the history of the site and provide a unique opportunity for PAL to grow service to all Detroit kids while becoming a destination for sports enthusiasts throughout the region."

"PAL has enjoyed an incredible year of support and collaboration between Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and the City Council, President Rod Miller of the Detroit Economic Development Corporation, the Detroit PAL Board of Directors, and our partner the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy led by Chairman Thom Linn," said Richey.

"For many years, the corner of Michigan and Trumbull and Tiger Stadium was where many young athletes began incredible careers enabling them to give back to their communities," Mayor Mike Duggan said. "It is meaningful that this site will honor many of those individuals while becoming the newest complex for more Detroit kids to receive the kind of mentoring and support through sports programming that Detroit PAL provides."

Police Chief James Craig added, "Whenever we can provide positive opportunities for kids to interact with Detroit police officers, we know it positively changes their perceptions and creates enduring relationships which impact their lives in the short and long term. Donations toward the redevelopment of this unique site allow more kids and more officers to positively interact, proving a testimony to Detroit's commitment to its kids."

The "Kids at the Corner" campaign kicked off in February 2015, after the Detroit Economic Development Corporation approved PAL plans to redevelop the land at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull into a sports complex and PAL headquarters.

"The Conservancy Board's support for PAL's redevelopment plan and Senator Levin's ability to secure a $3 million grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development got this initiative off the ground," said Richey. "In addition, it's a real tribute to our major contributors, and all our supporters, that we were able to meet this important threshold to begin construction. It's about the people in the private sector and the public sector working together to create opportunities for the children of Detroit."

Major donors from several foundations were present at the event. The group included David Egner from the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation which donated $2 Million, Kristen McDonald from the Skillman Foundation which donated $2 Million, Laura Trudeau from the Kresge Foundation which donated $1 Million, and several representatives from the William Davidson Foundation.

Ron May, Detroit PAL Board Member and DTE Energy Development Chief said, "The 'Kids at the Corner' campaign represents an opportunity to extend an already successful program to more of Detroit's children than ever before. DTE Energy has been a long-time PAL supporter and sponsor, and I'm proud that DTE Energy employees are volunteering their services as PAL expands operations."

Matt Elliott, Michigan Market President, and other representatives of Bank of America and Great Lakes Capital, which contributed $2.5 million in net proceeds from a New Market Tax Credit, were in attendance. Bank of America will also provide the bridge loan necessary to build the project, which is slated to open by spring of 2017.

"The Board of Directors of Detroit PAL would like to thank these foundations, and all our campaign contributors, for their generous support of this effort," said Ron Hall, Jr. Chairman of the Detroit PAL Board of Directors. "Because we were able to reach these important benchmarks with enthusiastic community support, we will soon set a financial 'stretch goal' to incorporate ideas that have been put forth to enhance the original design plans."

PAL CEO Tim Richey also announced that contributions beyond the initial $15 million capacity campaign goal would be used to incorporate additional elements at the site in order to enhance the visitor's experience. 

About Detroit Police Athletic League

Detroit PAL is a nonprofit organization positively impacting the lives of nearly 12,000 children each year through athletic, academic and leadership development programs with roots dating back to 1969. Detroit PAL empowers the community by training volunteer coaches and creating safe places for kids to play. Each year, Detroit PAL teaches nearly 1,700 caring community members how to be encouraging and effective mentors.

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