Morgan Wallen Foundation and Cubs Charities Unite, Pledging $250K To Transform Chicago’s Bessemer Park Baseball Field

“This donation combined with being back on stage performing for my fans tonight at Wrigley is a true double header for me,” Wallen shared.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 23, 2023

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Keri Blackwell, Deputy Director, Cubs Charities; Morgan Wallen; Rosa Escareño, General Superintendent & CEO of Chicago Park District ; Photo by David Lehr

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.”

A Generous Donation

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.

To Morgan’s left is Keri Blackwell, Deputy Director, Chicago Cubs Charities and to Morgan’s right is Rosa Escareño, General Superintendent & CEO of Chicago Park District. Plus teachers and students from Bowen and Baker High Schools; Photo by David Lehr
To Morgan’s left is Keri Blackwell, Deputy Director, Chicago Cubs Charities and to Morgan’s right is Rosa Escareño, General Superintendent & CEO of Chicago Park District. Plus teachers and students from Bowen and Baker High Schools; Photo by David Lehr

“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.”

A Community Staple

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. 

About The Foundation

The Morgan Wallen Foundation was established in 2021 with a core belief “that every child deserves a chance to thrive, play, and create through sports and music.” 

The foundation is “committed to helping communities in times of crisis. Whether it’s providing critical supplies in the wake of natural disasters or distributing groceries and meals to food insecure families, and more.” It was previously called the More Than My Hometown Foundation until it re-branded in 2022 to The Morgan Wallen Foundation.

Morgan Wallen; Photo by Matthew Paskert
Morgan Wallen; Photo by Matthew Paskert

Wallen’s donation comes as his One Night At A Time World Tour is once again underway, with 83,076 fans in attendance across both nights in Chicago making him the first Country artist to sell out two back-to-back nights at Wrigley Field. 

For tour dates and more information, visit MorganWallen.com.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.