October 26, 2022

AZ Business Magazine

Fiesta Bowl Charities builds new Fort Mohave sports complex

Fiesta Bowl Charities, along with partners BHHS Legacy Foundation, PNC Bank, Lerner & Rowe and KABOOM!, built a new, innovative playground and multi-purpose sport court in Fort Mohave, while also planting a new football field. Located in the Colorado River Valley, this is the 12th site for a Fiesta Bowl Charities playground legacy project over the last five years.

More than 100 volunteers from Fiesta Bowl Charities, BHHS Legacy Foundation and KABOOM! came together to build the state-of-the-art playground and sport court for more than 800 children in the Fort Mohave community.

In addition to the newly-built structures, the Fiesta Bowl dedicated a new 70,000+ square foot field that was the playing surface for the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bowl between Minnesota and West Virginia.

“We are thrilled to bring this Sports Complex to Fort Mohave and specifically the youth in this community,” said Kristina Chumpol, Senior Director of Community Relations for the Fiesta Bowl. “There is no doubt that these amazing facilities will have tremendous impact on several generations and provide great opportunity for them to participate in activities centered on wellness and sports.”

Earlier this year, children from Fort Mohave created the concept of their dream play space and shared their artwork with project organizers. The drawings were used as inspiration for the 2,000 square foot playground design—and now those dreams are a reality.

Working with Fiesta Bowl Charities to make the new football field in Fort Mohave a reality are PNC Bank and Lerner & Rowe Gives Back. The next step in the new complex is the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River’s Fort Mohave Clubhouse, which is currently being built.

“Our team has worked with Fiesta Bowl Charities on several community relations projects over the years to help build playgrounds, football fields and sport courts, support teachers, and prop up local youth,” said Kevin Rowe, founder of the Lerner & Rowe Gives Back foundation. “We are honored to continue building these meaningful relationships and celebrating positive moments with a renewed partnership, to include signing on as the presenting partner of the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade. This longstanding partnership is one of the greatest ways for us to engage with others locally and show our commitment to supporting youth for generations to come.”

This is the first playground in Fort Mohave. Before receiving the new play space, Fort Mohave residents faced a 20-minute commute to nearby Bullhead City just to get to a playground. With play being so important for kids, the Fort Mohave community now has a safe space to gather, foster relationships and promote healthy lifestyles for their children.

“The BHHS Legacy Foundation continues its 20+ year history of supporting and building the Tri State’s parks and recreation facilities that enhance the lives of our youth and strengthen the family structure of our residents,” said Dan Oehler, Legacy Foundation chairman. “This is our third KABOOM! project in the area and, having witnessed the success of the KABOOM! facilities in which we have previously participated at Bullhead City’s Rotary Park and Mohave Valley Community Park, the Foundation was thrilled with the opportunity to work with Fiesta Bowl Charities and our other community partners to ensure the children and their parents in the Mohave Mesa area have the enjoyable opportunity to access these delightful and safe exercise play areas in their immediate neighborhood.”

Fiesta Bowl Charities and BHHS Legacy Foundation granted KABOOM! funding to help build the playground and support KABOOM! in promoting and protecting a child’s right to active play at home, at school and in the community. Volunteers worked together for three days to build the new play space from the ground up.

“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood. They’re not only where kids collect some of their best memories, but also where crucial skills are developed that nurture their physical, mental and emotional well-being,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is thrilled to work with our partners to bring to life the new play space at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River’s Fort Mohave Clubhouse and ensure that kids in Fort Mohave have a place designed just for them, where they can play, learn and unlock their greatest potential.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River have been making a positive impact for children and families since 1987. Clubs enable young people, especially those in need, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The Fiesta Bowl Charities Field and Sports Complex at the Fort Mohave Clubhouse will provide a safe place for children in the community to experience play and build healthy lifestyles.

“Having dreamed for such a long time about having a dedicated space for Fort Mohave kids, and then having it come to fruition with a giant field, playground and sport court is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Autumn Boyle-Robinson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River. “We see firsthand every day how important having a safe place to play is for kids, and without a doubt I know that this sports complex will change lives!”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony included the dedication of Fiesta Bowl Field, which is the same football field that was used in downtown Phoenix to host the 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bowl. The field was donated in partnership with PNC Bank and Lerner & Rowe and is dedicated in memory of Bob Swartzman, a late board member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Colorado River.

“As a National Main Street Bank, PNC is committed to making a positive difference for our customers and communities,” said Cathleen Walker, PNC Regional President for Phoenix and Northern Arizona. “We are proud to support this state-of-the-art athletic complex for children in Fort Mohave. This space allows greater access for local children to engage in activities that will positively impact their physical, behavioral and social wellness.”

Given the distance between Fort Mohave families and the nearest playground, a complex like the one built on Saturday has always been a wish for this community. It will allow Fort Mohave children to be active, healthy, and gives them access to valuable social-emotional learning opportunities and the chance to build positive relationships with other youth.