CLEVELAND – Lorain City Schools and the East Cleveland Police Athletic League (PAL) have been named the 2016 recipients of the Leo Murphy Field & Equipment Grant, the Cleveland Touchdown Club Charities (CTCC) announced on Tuesday.
The Field & Equipment Grant, named after longtime Cleveland Browns trainer and Honorary Lifetime Member of CTCC Leo Murphy, is awarded annually by the CTCC to youth football programs in the Greater Cleveland area. Each organization will receive a $5,000 grant to assist both organizations secure the proper equipment and resources they need to play the game safely.
“This year’s selection of the Leo Murphy Field and Equipment Grant was one of the hardest ever as we had a record number of applications to review,” CTCC President Christina Webb said. “We are very excited to be able to help the Lorain City Schools and East Cleveland PAL further their youth football programs in the Greater Cleveland Area.”
Lorain City Schools will use the grant to assist in purchasing new jerseys for its two middle school programs, which have not had new jerseys in eight years. The middle school programs have seen participation double in the last three years.
“This is an incredible moment for our kids and our coaches, and we are thankful to receive the grant,” Lorain City Schools Director of Athletics Bryan Koury said. “We have been forced to use hand-me-down practice jerseys from the high school program in recent years and I know our kids are going to be excited about getting new jerseys this coming season.”
The East Cleveland PAL provides youth services to 200-plus youth football players and cheerleaders in the city of East Cleveland by providing sports training, mentoring, and leadership development with the support of 50 community volunteers. The grant will provide funds to purchase new football equipment, including helmets and shoulder pads, field equipment and more.
“This grant is going to have a big impact on our organization and we are grateful for the opportunity the Cleveland Touchdown Club Charities has given us,” East Cleveland PAL Director of Football Operations Keith Nicholas said. “Young people in our neighborhood typically cannot afford the fees to play football and this great will give them the opportunity to compete.”
Started in 2012, the CTCC Leo Murphy Memorial Field & Equipment Grant was established to allow the membership of CTCC to give back directly to youth football programs in the Greater Cleveland area. Grant eligibility is limited to 501(c)(3) non-profit youth organizations and local schools in Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Lake and Geauga counties. Grant funds are designated to make improvements to equipment and/or facilities, and to help improve the safety and overall quality of those programs.