The Devils Youth Foundation, in an effort to bring life-changing opportunities to New Jersey’s youth through the power of sports and entertainment, recently committed its largest-ever grant, $100,000, to foundation partner La Casa de Don Pedro.
The grant provides the La Casa de Don Pedro facility with a brand new “El Patio de La Casa” — a revitalized area to serve as a vibrant community hub modeled after a Caribbean Plaza with safe spaces for children to play, attend concerts, have a neighborhood communal refrigerator and enjoy festivals.
El Patio de La Casa’s subsequent community programming will serve over 800 youth in Newark annually.
The Devils Youth Hockey & Growth Initiatives team coordinated a ball hockey clinic with New Jersey Devils alumnus Grant Marshall and the Devils mascot, NJ Devil, for over 40 kids from La Casa.
DYF Executive Director Kate Whitman Annis said the organization’s largest-ever grant signifies the Devils, Prudential Center and Devils Youth Foundation’s long-term commitment to the community.
“We have made a commitment to our community that goes far beyond a single grant,” she said. “We want kids to have access to sports to build confidence and resilience, and that means creating continuing partnerships that have a long-term and lasting impact.”
Part of the Devils partnership with La Casa de Don Pedro includes introducing kids to ball hockey and working to get them on the ice.
“We are so happy to open El Patio de La Casa,” Peter Rosario, CEO and president, La Casa de Don Pedro, said. “In our heritage, El Patio is the space where everything happens. It could be a wedding today, a christening tomorrow, be a concert venue, a place for a movie night or even a hockey game. We are so excited that this space, that before the Devils Youth Foundation so generously donated to us was rocks and weeds, is now going to be activated for the entire community.”
Jake Reynolds, president of the Devils, Prudential Center and Devils Youth Foundation, said the partnership matches the mission and vision of the organization.
“When the Devils first came to New Jersey in 1982, one of our missions was to provide support for our community,” he said. “Through the Devils Youth Foundation, that is exactly what we strive to do. We are very fortunate our managing partners, David and Allison Blitzer and Josh and Marjorie Harris, share that same commitment and unwavering support for this foundation. We are excited to join our incredible partners at La Casa de Don Pedro to be able to dedicate El Patio de La Casa to the great city of Newark.”
Over the past two years, the Devils Youth Foundation has supported 35 nonprofit organizations with over $1 million in funding, which has helped serve over 50,000 children in the community.