Bucks and Johnson Controls Extend Grants for Three Years to Silver Spring Neighborhood Center and Playworks

After partnering to build multi-sport complex at local elementary school in 2017, Bucks and Johnson Controls to continue to support programming at outdoor facility

The Milwaukee Bucks and Johnson Controls, the Official Smart Building Partner of Fiserv Forum, are furthering their commitment to the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center (SSNC) and Playworks by extending their combined $60,000 annual grants to the two organizations for an additional three years. The $180,000 worth of grants over the next three years will help the SSNC and Playworks continue community programming at Browning Elementary School’s multi-sport complex.

In 2017, the Bucks and Johnson Controls partnered to provide funds for the $150,000 multi-sport complex at Browning Elementary School, which is located in Milwaukee’s Westlawn neighborhood. At that time, they also committed to provide a combined $60,000 in annual grants to the SSNC and Playworks for three years to utilize the outdoor facility. Today’s announcement is the extension of that commitment for an additional three years.

“The SSNC and Playworks have such a positive impact on the young people of Milwaukee and we knew we needed to continue to support their programming,” said Bucks and Fiserv Forum President Peter Feigin. “I want to thank Johnson Controls, a great partner which has not only made Fiserv Forum a state-of-the-art venue but is committed to improving the city we call home.”

“Johnson Controls is grateful to both the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center and Playworks for the important role they play in our neighborhoods of focus, on Milwaukee’s northwest side,” said Grady Crosby, vice president, Public Affairs, chief diversity officer and Johnson Controls Foundation president. “Their programming helps kids have fun while staying safe, and at the same time teaches them important life skills in the areas of cooperation, leadership and problem solving. We are proud to join with the Bucks to support their excellent work in the community.”

The multi-sport sport complex at Browning Elementary School has housed community programming for students and neighborhood residents since its opening in 2017. The grants will allow Playworks to continue to utilize the outdoor facility with Browning Elementary School students during the day, and for the SSNC to provide after-hours and weekend activities for the local neighborhood. Together, these grants will ensure that the complex continues to feature proven programming designed to maximize the value of the space for the surrounding community.

“We are grateful for this renewed support from the Bucks and JCI,” said Playworks Regional Director PJ Dever. “We are proud to be part of the work to provide programming during the school day for the staff and students at Browning Elementary School. The community focused vision, that this multi-sport complex would serve as a place to the neighborhood to come together for play, for sport, and for building a strong neighborhood, was an ambitious undertaking and we are excited to see what the next three years will bring!”

“SSNC provides quality and engaging youth programs because of our strong partnerships,” said SSNC Executive Director Devin Hudson. “Not only are we grateful to partner with Playworks, but we are also incredibly thankful for the support we have from the Milwaukee Bucks and Johnson Controls. These two organizations are committed to helping reshape Milwaukee and understand the need to invest in local communities and the next generation.”

The multi-sport complex includes six basketball courts, a futsal court, a soccer field and additional recreation space all contained within a 200-meter track. It was configured to allow flexibility for use of other sports, such as volleyball and tennis, and is well lit to provide a safe space for recreation during evening hours.

Video of the multi-sport complex is available here, and photos from the grand opening in 2017 can be seen here.

The Bucks and Johnson Controls also teamed up to support the Backpack Program in Marinette County. The program, which was started by Johnson Controls in 2016, helps provide students with the necessary nourishment they need over the weekend when they’re not provided school lunches. Each week during the school year, Johnson Controls employees bag food and deliver it to students in need on Friday so they have enough to eat over the weekend.

The Bucks and Johnson Controls both made donations to the Backpack Program, which is funded solely by internal Johnson Controls fundraisers and employee donations and provides more than 40 bags of food each week to students in need.

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