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NCAA and Lowe’s leave lasting legacy

Groups work to restore athletics facilities in championship host cities

Lowe’s and NCAA Team Works brought smiles to the faces of many in championship host cities this past season in conjunction with the NCAA Legacy Restorations presented by Lowe’s program. Lowe’s and NCAA staff coordinated and completed work on facility upgrades around the country that will leave positive imprints on youth and their families for years to come.

Lowe’s, an NCAA corporate partner since 2005, has done local restoration work at sports facilities and youth clubs in conjunction with NCAA championships for the past two years. The organization works with the NCAA’s community outreach group, Team Works, to upgrade areas that provide youth with safe places to play and learn.

“We believe there is strength in numbers, and that by working with the NCAA as a team on these legacy restoration projects, we were able to make a meaningful difference,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations. “Our Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteers partnered with volunteers from the NCAA to make improvements in championship host cities that provide young people with safer places to learn, play and ultimately grow. Lowe’s is proud to support not only the NCAA but also its student-athletes, who work just as hard on the courts, fields or tracks as they do in the classroom.”

 “We are very grateful that Lowe’s has once again partnered with us to leave a lasting impact on championship communities long after events conclude,” said Victor Hill, associate director of NCAA Team Works. “After visiting many of the sites, we saw the significant impressions that could be made on children through the legacy program. We knew the NCAA and Lowe’s could have a big impact and could invest in the ongoing development of the youth who use the facilities.” 

This is the second year the NCAA Legacy Restorations presented by Lowe’s program has taken place in Omaha, Nebraska, and Oklahoma City, sites of the Men’s and Women’s College World Series, respectively. 

 

During the most recent restoration work, Lowe’s and the NCAA renovated a baseball field for youth at the Omaha Home for Boys. The upgrades included revitalizing facilities and landscaping; repairs and repainting of the dugout area; replacement of dugout bats and helmet holders; updating nets in the batting cages; and sanding and repainting the bleachers. A celebration also was held in Omaha that included Lowe’s and NCAA officials, city representatives, youth from the Omaha Home for Boys, and students from Benson and Concordia high schools.

“This is an important project not only for the Omaha Home for Boys but also for the community that we serve,” said Jeff Moran, Omaha Home for Boys president and chief executive officer. “With these renovations, teams and players from throughout the community now have a great place to play baseball.”

Extensive work also occurred before the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, when Lowe’s and the NCAA renovated areas at Telstar Elementary School and the adjacent Boys and Girls Club. Upgrades included renovations at the playground areas; a new walking trail for the students; landscaping enhancements; a new look for the kitchen; enhancements for the after-school program facility; and updates to the building exterior.

Local youth were excited to see the work completed. They were joined by guests who included the mayor, the Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent; the president/CEO of the Oklahoma City Boys and Girls Club; and Lowe’s and NCAA officials. After the ceremony, the youth and guests did walking tours of the upgraded and revitalized areas that will provide more than 300 children with athletic opportunities and their families with after-hours care options. Telstar also offers meals and a safe environment for the children. 

“The Legacy Restoration project has afforded our students at Telstar the same opportunities as students at other schools by providing improvements to equipment and the grounds that let our students, staff and community know that our students are a priority and great people are behind them pushing them to succeed in life,” said Vanessa VanTrease, principal of Telstar Elementary, which is in the Oklahoma City Public Schools district. 

“The generosity of the NCAA, Lowe’s and their many volunteers has helped ensure the safety of our students with a new fence and gate to provide protection. Their hours of planning, hard work and generosity cannot be measured in dollars but in the smiles and confidence they have brought to the children,” VanTrease said.  

In addition to the restorations in Omaha and Oklahoma City, Lowe’s did restorations in April at the Men’s Final Four in Houston, improving play areas at a local Boys and Girls Club that serves more than 1,000 children. Basketball courts also have been refurbished in Indianapolis and Tampa, Florida, which hosted Men’s and Women’s Final Fours last year. Lowe’s volunteers also have renovated community centers and playing fields and have provided updated sports equipment for youth. In addition to the Legacy Restoration Projects, Lowe’s has recognized senior NCAA student-athlete leaders over the years for their dedication to staying in college and working toward graduation.  

Lowe’s has a 50-year track record of supporting communities through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. The Lowe’s Heroes employee volunteer program has donated time to make NCAA championship outreach communities better places to live and play. Lowe’s and the NCAA are currently considering the restoration projects for 2016-17 championship cities.