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Niagara Community Center to be named Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center

Fri, Feb 9th 2018 09:05 pm
Naming comes with announcement of $1 million grant
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced a $1 million grant to the Niagara Community Center Inc. for the primary purpose of supporting the final construction phase of the center. The remaining funds will be used to strengthen the young organization. In recognition of the grant from the foundation, which was established through the generosity and visionary leadership of the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the center will be renamed the "Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center," effective immediately.
"With the opening of this year-round athletic facility last fall, the new center fills a gap that previously existed for youth in Niagara Falls," said David Egner, president and CEO, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. "Rooted in collaboration and strong community partnerships, this project presented us with a great opportunity to honor the legacy of Mr. Wilson, while advancing our goal of getting more kids from all backgrounds and skill levels active through sports."
The center was founded in 2013 by Gary P. Hall to promote the health and social welfare of the Niagara Falls community through its 21,600 square-foot multiuse indoor sports and education facility that serves as a community center for area youth. The primary goal of the Niagara Community Center is to provide area youth and community stakeholders with an inspiring, uplifting, accessible, and functional facility in which to convene and collaborate. The Niagara Community Center program is operated through a variety of collaborative partnerships with other local nonprofits that share a common vision.
"Our organization is truly grateful for the foundation's extraordinary generosity and support," said Hall, president and founder of the Niagara Community Center. "Our organization is honored and humbled to bear the name of Mr. Wilson, as we strive to honor his legacy and his vision of strengthening young minds and bodies by helping children improve themselves through education and exercise, while offering a safe place for community youth to conduct positive activities after school."
Last summer, the foundation unveiled the first-ever "State of Play: Western New York" report conducted by the Aspen Institute's Sport and Society Program. While the report found many bright spots within the region's youth sports & recreation programs, it also revealed that only 16 percent of youth in Western New York are physically active an hour or more a day, the recommended level by the Center for Disease Control. The report also offered a "playbook" of strategies to get more kids active in sports, which highlights the benefits of strengthening in-town leagues and allowing kids to sample a variety of sports. As a year-round facility with numerous programming partners, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center is designed to accommodate a wide range of sports and activities to get and keep kids active throughout the entire year.
The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is a grantmaking organization dedicated primarily to sustained investment in the quality of life of the people of Southeast Michigan and Western New York. The two areas reflect Wilson's devotion to his hometown of Detroit and greater Buffalo, home of his Buffalo Bills franchise. For more information visit www.rcwjrf.org.
The Niagara Community Center is a 501(c)(3) public charity. The principal program and activity of the Niagara Community Center is to promote the health and social welfare of the Niagara Falls community through its 21,600 square-foot multiuse, indoor sports and education facility that serves as a community center for area youth. The Niagara Community Center acts as a convener in the community by making its facility available to community members (including organizations that serve citizens with special needs), school children and groups, as well as its nonprofit partners for meetings, social gatherings and educational and recreational activities. Through its collaborative relationships with other nonprofits, the Niagara Community Center facilitates the offering of programs at the community center, including sports training, soccer, baseball, tennis, football, lacrosse, cheerleading, Frisbee, volleyball, activities that enhance literacy and study skills, mentorship, and leadership and character-building activities for the purpose of combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency in the community and promoting community cohesiveness and harmony.
For more information, visit http://www.the-niagara.com/.

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