News & Press
From the article:
“Thanks to a charity basketball game in an aging gym, hundreds of children in Columbus’ Milo-Grogan neighborhood will soon be playing basketball and much more in a state-of-the-art facility designed to be a community centerpiece.
Late last year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio and the Champion Cos., a multifamily development firm, razed the 65-year-old clubhouse in Milo-Grogan and broke ground on a new 24,160-square-foot facility at 1012 Cleveland Ave. When it opens in 2022, the new clubhouse will combine two existing neighborhood clubs and house the nonprofit’s administrative offices. Community, civic and business partners have donated nearly $10 million to the $13.5 million campaign, with Champion providing a $2.5 million lead gift.
The birth of the project took place years earlier when Brian Yeager, Champion’s CEO, attended a Cleveland Cavaliers game with another developer. After some friendly back and forth about their respective basketball skills, they decided to host a charity game in Columbus, with the losing team donating $25,000 to the winning team’s charity of choice. Yeager chose Boys & Girls Clubs and a game was scheduled at the Milo-Grogan clubhouse.
Champion won the prize, but during the game Yeager noticed the wear-and-tear throughout the gym, including basketball rims that tilted sideways. “I just had a strong conviction about how much this club needed some improvements,” Yeager says. “I knew it wasn’t the best environment for all of the kids that went to the club every day.” Read more from Columbus CEO.