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Reds Community Fund And P&G Hit Home Run In Avondale

The Reds Community Fund transformed a city block in Avondale today with the help of a few hundred volunteers.  350 of Procter and Gambles North American Marketing group joined forces with volunteers from the Cincinnati Zoo and Childrens Hospital Medical Center to rebuild ball fields, community gardens and spruce up a community center.

"Its amazing today.  Weve been doing this for 7 years and this by far is the biggest and best weve done yet," said Procter and Gambles Aaron Eisel. "Procter and Gambles motto is Touching Lives and Improving Life.  This is it in the flesh."

The army of volunteers descended on the ball fields at the Hirsch Recreation Center about 9 this morning. They have added home run fences to two fields, graded them, built bleachers and dugouts and will dress the infields with the same stuff the big leaguers play on.  The fields are home to District One Knothole Baseball teams.  Coach DeAngelo Boynton started playing on these fields when he was 4.  He knows the value of stepping to the plate on a nice diamond.

"It makes them feel like they can make it to the Major Leagues. Just the renovation of this field makes me excited.  I think Im more excited than the children are."

Next door at Gabriels Place volunteers are adding on to a greenhouse, painting and giving the agencys farmers market area a complete makeover.

Planning for the project began last fall and has continued with weekly meetings between Procter and Gamble volunteers and the Reds.  It showed.  Every volunteer had a specific task and was doing it.

Since 2010, the Reds have partnered with P and G to do an annual "community makeover." In the last 3 years they have rebuilt baseball fields and fieldhouses in Winton Place, North College Hill and Cheviot.  Avondale was chosen in May. 

Reds Community Fund Executive Director Charley Frank says team owner Bob Castellini wants to do more in Cincinnati than win baseball games.

"Thats why they purchased the team.  Yes, they want a championship team but they, just as importantly, want to be championship caliber in the community."



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