Morgan Wallen is in the Windy City for back-to-back nights at Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Field. Ahead of his second sold-out show at the venue, the superstar invited students from two local high schools to present a $100,000 check to support the revitalization of South Chicago’s Bessemer Park baseball field.
“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,” Wallen shared. “This donation combined with being back on stage performing for my fans tonight at Wrigley is a true double header for me.”
The country superstar’s contribution to the field, which is home field of Baker and Bowen High School students, comes after a $150k donation from the Cubs Charities. In total, Wallen and the Cub Charities, generously donated $250k to the park, which will be instrumental in giving the facility a total renovation.
The renovation will include a fully upgraded, state-of-the-art baseball 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, according to a press release.
“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.”
Established in 1905, Bessemer Park holds a significant place in the South Chicago community, having served as a vital resource hub in the neighborhood. Originally, the park welcomed waves of new immigrants to Chicago, offering them more than just a picturesque landscape to enjoy. It provided essential social services like meals, education, healthcare, and recreational activities, becoming a cherished sanctuary for those in need. Even today, Bessemer Park remains a thriving community space that offers an array of programs, including summer camps, boxing facilities, and, of course, baseball.
The park’s baseball fields have played a crucial role in fostering the talent of local students from nearby neighborhoods. These fields have provided them with free access to the sport, enabling them to develop their skills and passion for baseball. With the generous donation received, the park will soon boast a premier field, elevating the playing experience for these aspiring young athletes. This upgraded facility will enhance their practice sessions and provide them with an ideal space to showcase their abilities, further strengthening the park’s legacy as a nurturing ground for athletic talent.