A big day for Fields & Futures and all those we serve! Dan Towriss, president of Delaware Life, announced a $1.5 million gift to support field construction over the next three years. At the same event, Steve Salem, president of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation announced their organization would partner with Fields & Futures to complete remaining OKCPS complexes.
Mr. Towriss invited the local business and donor community to match Delaware Life's gift to provide the $3 million needed to build the next six complexes, starting with Southeast High School.
Here's the full press release:
Oklahoma City, OK (June 13, 2017) – At a special luncheon sponsored by Delaware Life, Fields & Futures announced a new partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to complete construction of 22 athletic fields for Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS), while also announcing a multi-million dollar pledge by Delaware Life to support field construction and a special content marketing initiative to help accelerate fundraising efforts.
“This is a game changer for OKCPS students and communities,” says Fields & Futures founder, Tim McLaughlin. “To have two new partners of this magnitude step in at this stage in the game, with each bringing significant resources to bear, we can move that much faster to finish what we started – and the faster we build fields, the faster we’ll see rosters grow, attendance and grades improve, and more kids graduating, better prepared to find their place in the world. That’s the ultimate end game.”
Added McLaughlin, “With 20 of 42 fields now completed, we tell people we’re at halftime. With the added support of Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and Delaware Life, along with Oklahoma City Public Schools and our existing partners and donors, we will start our second half with a strong momentum and proven game plan. As a supporter said recently, this is no longer a leap of faith. Our theories have been tested and proven. The plan is working.”
In just the last six years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has constructed 67 youth development parks in 20 different states across the country, impacting over 279,000 kids annually. “We are excited to partner with the dedicated Fields & Futures team who share our mission to provide kids and their local communities with safe places to play, learn and grow, and look forward to contributing however we can to help finish what Fields & Futures and Oklahoma City Public Schools have set in motion” says Steve Salem, president of the Ripken Foundation.
Dan Towriss, president of Delaware Life, was introduced to Fields & Futures in late 2016. “When I attended an event in Oklahoma City last Fall and heard Tim McLaughlin say gangs were recruiting at the sixth grade level, I knew we wanted to do whatever we could to help give Oklahoma City children a better option” said Towriss. “I’m a big believer in youth sports and education as one of the few remaining ways we have to reach at-risk youth for positive social change. Fields & Futures and Oklahoma City Public Schools are doing important work and Delaware Life is proud to join in the effort to provide more students an opportunity to join a team and benefit from that experience.”
Added Towriss, "Our business philosophy has always been to do the right thing and to leave a lasting legacy in the communities we serve. This is especially true in an industry where a robust, healthy, and diverse workforce is critical to the future growth of the community. We believe investing in Fields & Futures provides a solid foundation for our company and a great inspiration and motivation for kids to stay in school, graduate and thrive in life.”
In addition to a $1.5 million gift to support field construction, Delaware Life will make an additional seven-figure investment in a long term marketing content plan to help advocate for reaching at-risk youth through sport-related programs, starting with Fields & Futures in Oklahoma City. Through both a nationally distributed television show set to debut in Fall 2017 and a robust digital content offering, this content will showcase the work being done in Oklahoma City while also sharing stories of other individuals and organizations around the country who believe in the power of sports to drive positive change in the communities where they live, work and play.
Rick Horrow, CEO of Horrow Sports Ventures and Co-Executive Producer of the new television show to be presented and underwritten by Delaware Life, was a consultant to former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick during the first MAPS project in 1993 and saw firsthand what Oklahoma City can accomplish when inspired by a great vision. Says Horrow, "It was clear the region possessed something special – a spirit of indomitable will and the ability to control its own destiny. The commitment of Dan Towriss, Delaware Life, and Fields & Futures is a living testament to the continued strength of this city. We look forward to working with University of Oklahoma Athletics and others to produce a nationally televised show that reinforces the power of sports to connect community and give more children an opportunity to realize their full potential. We look forward to announcing full show details in the weeks to come.”