The Lyons Community Center was awarded a $20,000 grant from Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Fund for Youth Sports.
This grant was among 16 projects in Wayne, Ontario, Monroe, and Seneca counties that received a total of $285,660 from the fund, which was established by the private foundation of the late founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills to benefit the Greater Rochester region. This fund has now invested more than $1.2 million in local youth sports and recreation programs in just four years.
With the grant, the Community Center hopes to revitalize its basketball leagues, which were disrupted by COVID. Plans are to add midnight basketball and offer four-day tournaments, and address transportation problems, financial difficulties, and lack of resources that prevent young people from engaging in sports.
The project includes: Resurfacing a portion of the Center’s parking lot; Adding two portable basketball hoops to make new space for pick-up games; Requiring all coaches to be trained; and Having county-wide standards for all league play.
Organizers say that revitalizing the basketball program will increase a sense of community and neighborhood attachment and promote healthy physical activity.
In 2019, the Community Center received a $25,000 grant from the Wilson fund to revitalize the town’s baseball program, which it took over managing in 2015. That grant also supported: Sending two staff to a national coaching conference; Developing a mandatory training program for all coaches; Creating a scholarship fund to support youth from families that are struggling financially; Forming a used equipment sharing program across the county; Purchasing an indoor batting cage to make skill-building available year-round; and Opening the training to surrounding communities.