70 years ago in The Villager


By Josh Rogers

Volume 73, Number 24 | October 15 – 21, 2003

N.F.L. makes good call for hospitals, youth sports

From left, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and N.F.L. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Oct. 7.

The National Football League and its Players Association announced a $5 million donation to Lower Manhattan projects at a ceremony at Sara D. Roosevelt Park last week.

Paul Taglaibue, N.F.L. commissioner, said the money comes out of the league’s Disaster Relief Fund, set up in 2001 to help New York City after the Sept. 11 attack.

Two million dollars will go to complete the construction of the new Millennium High School, which opened near Wall St. in September.

The city will spend $1 million of the money on its Small Business Solution Services Centers, which provide answers to a variety of problems of small business owners.

Three Lower Manhattan hospitals, NYU Downtown, St. Vincent’s and Gouverneur, will each receive $250,000. The first two hospitals served as the city’s key medical centers on 9/11. Downtown Hospital will use the money to offset some of the economic hardships they’ve been experiencing in connection with 9/11. St. Vincent’s will expand its trauma center. Gouverneur will put the money toward a mobile outreach vehicle to focus on providing medical services to Chinatown and Hispanic parts of the Lower East Side.

The 56,000 sq.-ft., asphalt playground near the Baruch Houses will get $970,000 for a synthetic turf field suitable for flag football, softball baseball and soccer.

Manhattan Youth, based in Tribeca, will get $250,000 to help fulfill its dream of opening a recreation center in Lower Manhattan.

Fifty thousand dollars of the money has already been spent on this year’s “Tribute in Light” art installation near where the Twin Towers once stood. The twin beams of light were first unveiled on the sixth-month anniversary of the attack and returned this Sept. 11.

S.D.R. Park will get $25,000 to fund a cleanup and beautification project in the park.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver both thanked Tagliabue for the league’s generosity.

Silver said all of the projects were worthy, but he was particularly pleased to see the N.F.L. fund two things that Silver has also secured money for — Millennium High School and Manhattan Youth. On the school, Silver told Tagliabue, “I can only tell you this was a good call for you.”

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