Harbor Impact Foundation receives $500,000 grant

BENTON HARBOR, Mich.- The non-profit Harbor Impact Foundation, Inc. received a $500,000 3-year grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation today to help build a state-of-the-art, indoor sports facility for children and families in-and-around Benton Harbor, Mich.

The facility will be home to Harbor Impact Basketball and its AAU travel and training programs for Berrien County youth grades K-12 with up to six indoor basketball/volleyball courts in phase one, an indoor walking/competition track, an indoor turf field for year-round football/soccer/track & field training in phase two. The Harbor Impact Foundation will also offer local student athletes high-speed internet access, homework help, tutors, job training, STEM courses and certified mental health counseling on site.

“We are forever grateful to the AEP Foundation for its trust and support,” said Rodney Alexander Junior, founder and Board Chair of the Harbor Impact Foundation. “This incredibly generous grant will help us make improvements at our current facility, and start the design process for a brand new building in Benton Harbor so we can get construction started as soon as possible.”

Harbor Impact Basketball has already brought more than 400 student-athletes from diverse economic, racial and social backgrounds across Berrien County together through its existing AAU programs and basketball training programs over the past three years.

“We are thrilled to support the Harbor Impact Foundation building campaign,” said Shane Lies, Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for American Electric Power. “Sports is a great way to bring kids, families, and communities together and that, by itself, is worthy of contribution. This project, however, goes beyond that by providing services to enhance the lives of the athletes off the court. Rodney and the Harbor Impact Foundation are not just focused on developing the athlete, they are equally invested in the development of the person. That is why the AEP Foundation ultimately decided to contribute so generously to this project.”

The new facility would be open to the public year-round for community health and wellness programs including the indoor walking track.

FULL DISCLOSURE: ABC57 Anchor Brian Conybeare serves as Vice-President of the Harbor Impact Foundation Board and is dedicated to making positive changes in his hometown of Benton Harbor, Mich.


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