Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Community Rallies to Renovate Grandstand

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Community Rallies to Renovate Grandstand

Article excerpt

Players, fans and members of the Duquesne Youth Athletic Association gathered Saturday with employees of Sam's Club and other local businesses to celebrate the newly repaired grandstand at the stadium that had been the home of the Duquesne City School District football team.

"What a wonderful project and what a wonderful thing they did for this community," Chris Hoke, former Steelers defensive tackle and Super Bowl XL champion, said Saturday. "Everyone's coming together for one purpose, for these young kids. The energy and the excitement that's going on here - you can't find that anywhere else."

Fans made good use of the renovated grandstand Saturday as athletic association football teams took to the field to play a number of games.

Mr. Hoke presided over a coin toss and gave a pep talk to players.

The stadium at 169 Overland Ave. was home to the Duquesne Dukes' high school football team, but when the high school closed 10 years ago, the stadium began to deteriorate.

Upon inspection this year, Erik Ewell, president of the Duquesne Youth Athletic Association, which has leased the stadium from the Duquesne City School District for $1, was told the group could no longer use the grandstand because it was in such disrepair.

The Duquesne Youth Athletic Association was formed in 2013 and offers a variety of sports programs for local youth ages 5 to 14, including basketball, football, baseball, soccer and volleyball. The association's goal is to provide life lessons through mentoring from coaches, local clergy and various programs throughout the county.

Faced with no available grandstand, Mr. Ewell turned to social media for help.

Sam's Club manager Shane Haynie, who is a friend of Mr. Ewell, saw the plea and immediately responded.

"I saw how many kids are going to be affected and what it really meant to them get it done," he said.

Representatives from every Sam's Club in the Pittsburgh area soon became involved and donated more than $7,000. In addition, about 30 volunteers helped with repairs. …

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