Cincinnati Reds Community Fund

Lower Price Hill Getting A Makeover


July 28 is going to be a big day for Lower Price Hill as hundreds of volunteers transcend on the ballfields at Evans Playground for a major renovation, the creation of a community garden, greenspace, AND a transformation of the Espy Boys & Girls Club into a youth center.

Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Zoo chose Lower Price Hill as the winner of the 2016 Community Makeover; and will renovate Evans Playground.

From the ribbon cutting at the 2015 Community Makeover recipient: West End: Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Sands School playground and Dyer ballfields

It is all happening because Procter & Gamble, the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden have chosen the Cincinnati neighborhood of Lower Price Hill as the winner of the 2016 Community Makeover.

Elements of the Community Makeover will include:

  • Evans Field and Playground: Upgrade existing baseball fields and park amenities
  • Community Gardens: Develop largest greenspace in Lower Price Hill with natural playscape and learning gardens for children
  • Espy Center: Upgrade the former Boys & Girls Club in partnership with Community Matters and Santa Maria Youth Services

Other project partners include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Interact For Health and partners from the community include Community Matters, Santa Maria Community Services, Community Learning Center Institute, Bloc Ministries, Cincinnati Recreation Commission and the City of Cincinnati’s Neighborhood Enhancement Program (NEP).

P&G, the Reds and the Zoo’s investments in Lower Price Hill will provide significant and sustainable impact, including reducing operating costs and energy usage and investing in the long-term development of the community and its residents.

To learn about needed donations and how you can help, please contact the Reds Community Fund at 513-765-7231 or

P&G and the Reds Community Fund have partnered for the Community Makeover since 2010 and the Cincinnati Zoo joined the partnership in 2013 and brings a wealth of experience in horticulture, sustainable design and maintenance to the projects.


The goal of the annual program is to choose a neighborhood renovation project that improves local youth baseball and softball programs while making a significant impact on the community and its residents.

Past Community Makeover projects:

  • 2010: Winton Place: Brandon Phillips Field and P&G Field
  • 2011: North College Hill: High school field and community center plus youth field in Winton Place
  • 2012: Cheviot: Memorial Fields, historic grandstand and Cheviot Memorial Fieldhouse
  • 2013: Avondale: Gabriel’s Place, Hirsch Recreation Center and Hirsh ballfields
  • 2014: South Cumminsville: Wayne ballfields and Millvale Recreation Center
  • 2015: West End: Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Sands School playground and Dyer ballfields


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Cincinnati Reds Urban Youth Academy Has Grand Opening


I remember several years ago visiting the Reds Rookie Success League when I was working with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati. Cincinnati Reds Rookie Success LeagueThe Cincinnati Reds Community Fund organizes these free coed camps each summer to teach the fundamentals of the sport through a character based curriculum – and campers even get to meet a few local professional players. What a wonderful opportunity for so many children who otherwise would not be able to afford such a fun camp.

Since its inception in 2001, the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund has been dedicated to improving the lives of youth through its baseball-themed outreach efforts. The Reds Rookie Success League is just one example.

Last week, local youth were given a whole new opportunity to build success when the Major League Baseball, Cincinnati Reds, and Procter & Gamble unveiled the new Urban Youth Academy, a four field facility where Cincinnati children and youth can play baseball and softball, while receiving guidance to gain tools that will help them succeed not just on the playing field, but in the classroom…and in life.Cincinnati Reds Urban Youth Academy

The $7 million Cincinnati Academy is the fourth in the MLB and it is the first one in the Midwest. It has four fields, one of which even has a press box. Additionally it has a field house complete with a turf field and indoor batting cages and pitching tunnels. There are also classrooms where students can receive free tutoring while they wait to play.

Joe Morgan and Frank Robinson, stars of Cincinnati’s past, were among those on hand for the unveiling.

“It came out better than anyone could’ve expected,” said Frank, whose current role is as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball development. “You have your vision of what you’d like to see and what it will look like when it’s finished. But I didn’t have this vision. And I don’t think anyone else did. This is a great facility, and we’re just glad to be a part of it. We will continue to work with the Reds to keep it up and support the kids. They are the future.”

Also on hand was a family very special to me. I grew up next door to Gerry and Marion Gendell and their seven kids (Carin, Danna, Adrian, Jeff, David, Marc and Brad) and have so many wonderful memories of those years. They are such a kind and generous family. One of the ballfields at the Academy is a gift from the Gendell Family Foundation and was dedicated to Gerry and Marion – Gendell Family Field at the Cincinnati Reds Urban Youth Academyloving parents who gave so much to our great city.

Gerry was commissioned as a First Lieutenant by the US Army in 1952 after graduating NY University. Following 3 years of military service during the Korean War, he joined P&G where he spent 37 years in management positions. In the last 10 years he served as the company’s chief public affairs officer and also served as president and trustee of the P&G Fund. Among other achievements, he launched Pringles brand and expanded P&G’s charitable activities. He was vice chairman of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, member of the Board of Overseers at HUC, a board member and supporter of several other organizations. Marion earned her bachelor’s degree at age 50. She served in volunteer roles for various organizations.

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