Working Toward One Hundred
In May 2023, the Atlanta United Community Fund (AUCF), an associate-led giving committee of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, opened the second mini-pitch of the GA 100 campaign in Gainesville, Georgia. The mini-pitch was built through a grant to United Way of Hall County in partnership with Gainesville City Parks and Recreation. Located at Myrtle Street Park, the mini-pitch will be incorporated into Gainesville City Parks and Recreation’s programming.
Myrtle Street Park was identified by Gainesville Parks and Recreation as the ideal location for the mini-pitch as members of the community had been playing soccer on the park’s basketball court. The new turf pitch features lighting, bleacher seating, shade structures, sidewalks, netting and railing that outline the field.
The GA 100 campaign was created by AUCF in partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) with the goal of constructing up to 100 mini-pitches in communities across Georgia, leading up to the 2026 World Cup. AUCF awarded $1.68 million to LISC to lead installation of the first 20 mini-pitches across the state. Seventeen organizations have received grants and all 20 pitches are either completed or in development.
In 2022, AUCF opened the first mini-pitch of the GA 100 campaign in Brunswick, Georgia. The pitch was granted to Coastal Outreach Soccer, a nonprofit organization that provides academic and athletic programing to underserved youth in southeast Georgia. Constructed in Brunswick Perry Park, the pitch gives local youth a central location to not only develop their skills but also build relationships.
AUCF has a guiding theme of making the game of soccer accessible and inclusive for individuals across Georgia. Through the global game of soccer, AUCF grant programs stress the importance of physical fitness while building a supportive culture of play and sportsmanship. AUCF invests in nonprofit organizations that make soccer fun, exciting and accessible for individuals who otherwise would not get to participate.
“GA 100 is not just about soccer pitches,” said Britt Davis, Atlanta United Community Fund committee member and manager, brand marketing, The Home Depot Backyard. “It’s about connection, accessibility and creating new avenues to a world of opportunities. These pitches provide communities with a space to play, engage and learn from different backgrounds through the unity of the Beautiful Game.”