As Morgan Wallen’s One Night At A Time World Tour resumed with two back-to-back nights at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the Academy of Country Music Male Artist of the Year celebrated the final night (June 23) at the home of the Chicago Cubs backstage with students from the nearby Baker and Bowen High Schools. The cause for the celebration wasn’t the two-hour set that was about to follow – yet a presentation of a $100k check from Wallen’s charity, The Morgan Wallen Foundation, for the revitalization of South Chicago’s Bessemer Park baseball field.
Wallen’s donation to the field, the home field of Baker and Bowen High School students, complemented a previous $150k donation from Cubs Charities. Altogether, the $250k donated to the park will contribute to a fully upgraded diamond with a new backstop, side wings and dugouts, including extended side wings, and will include rehabilitating the playing surface for multiple levels of play.
“Our mission with the Morgan Wallen Foundation is to support youth programs in the areas of sports and music. We are thrilled to donate $100k to Bessemer Park to give the kids a place to play ball here in South Chicago,” said Wallen. “This donation combined with being back on stage performing for my fans tonight at Wrigley is a true double header for me.”
“We are pleased that the Morgan Wallen Foundation is working with the Chicago Park District to enhance our Diamond Project commitment to Bessemer Park to completely renovate a baseball diamond,” said Keri Blackwell, deputy director of Cubs Charities. “The goal of our Diamond Project is to help improve the quality, safety and accessibility of playing fields across Chicago, and this donation will support a significant upgrade to the field for the benefit of South Chicago’s youth and families.”
“The Chicago Park District is extremely grateful to the Morgan Wallen Foundation for this generous donation to Bessemer Park,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “This gift will help upgrade the park’s ballfield and existing playing surfaces. These improved amenities will enhance recreational opportunities that families rely on to keep our children and teens engaged in positive activities and build the foundation for healthy living.”
Bessemer Park, which opened in the South Chicago community in 1905, has a strong history of providing crucial resources and amenities to the neighborhood. In its early days, Bessemer park was a haven for new immigrants to Chicago who came to the park as it was a beautifully landscaped ‘breathing space’ that also provided social services including meals, education, health care and recreation. Today, the park continues as a vibrant community space offering summer camp, boxing and, of course, baseball. The park’s baseball fields are utilized by students in the surrounding neighborhoods, allowing them free access to play ball and hone their craft at the sport. With this generous donation, the local kids will soon have a new premiere field for practice and play.
Wallen’s donation comes as his One Night At A Time World Tour is once again underway, with 83,076 fans in attendance across both nights in Chicago, making him the first Country artist to sell out two back-to-back nights at Wrigley Field.
For tour dates and more information, visit MorganWallen.com.
About Morgan Wallen Foundation:
With a core belief that all children deserve a chance to thrive, play, and create through sports and music, the Morgan Wallen Foundation (MWF) supports programs for youth in these two areas – sports and music. MWF is also dedicated to being there for communities in times of need. Whether it’s providing supplies in the wake of natural disasters, meals for first responders, distributing groceries to food insecure families, we are there to help.
Access to sports and music transformed and enriched Morgan Wallen’s life in ways he never could have imagined growing up as a kid in East Tennessee. They have been a constant presence since the age of three. Playing sports instilled in him the values and benefits of discipline, hard work and commitment. Exposure to music at a young age has led him to become the country artist he is today. For more information go to www.morganwallenfoundation.org
About Cubs Charities:
Cubs Charities is a nonprofit that mobilizes the power of sport to champion youth, families and communities. Cubs Charities’ work is focused on sports-based youth development and academic programming, investments in safe places to play and strategic grantmaking. Since 2009, Cubs Charities has invested more than $49 million in people, places and programs across Chicago. Cubs Charities is a leader among professional sports teams in its creation, execution and delivery of quality, sports-based youth development programming. Today, Cubs Charities’ portfolio includes programs that provide children and youth with skilled coaches, quality programming and safe and accessible places to play the game.
About Chicago Park District:
Celebrating more than 85 years of service, the Chicago Park District is a Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,800 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com.