UAE Embassy Opens 8th Community Soccer Field
UAE EMBASSY AND THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING ALLIANCE DEDICATE NEW COMMUNITY SOCCER FIELD FOR BRADLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN ASBURY PARK
New field is part of the UAE Embassy’s Sandy relief efforts in New Jersey
Asbury Park, NJ (June 16, 2015) – Today, officials from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), representatives from the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA) and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund (HSNJRF) joined local community leaders and children to celebrate the dedication of a new state-of-the-art soccer field at the Bradley Elementary School in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
The new soccer field is the result of a partnership between the AHA and the UAE Embassy, who donated the funds to construct the field. Bradley Elementary School’s field will benefit hundreds of students on a daily basis, as well as children throughout the community.
“We are delighted to be a part of this exciting gift to the kids of Bradley Elementary and the Asbury Park community,” said Dana Al Marashi, Head of the Heritage and Social Affairs Department at the UAE Embassy. “Working with great local partners, the UAE Embassy has been committed to providing support and deepening involvement to help communities rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We are proud of this second community soccer field in the state following the dedication of a field in Atlantic City last fall. We hope the kids of Asbury Park have fun using this field for many years to come.”
“The UAE Embassy and the generous people of the UAE were among the first to offer support after Hurricane Sandy. They’ve been a steadfast partner to the state of New Jersey as our communities continue to recover and rebuild,” stated First Lady Mary Pat Christie, Chair of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund in a written statement. “We are grateful to the UAE Embassy for their partnership and friendship, and know the kids in Asbury Park will enjoy and benefit from this wonderful gift.”
Bradley Elementary School is the second location in New Jersey to receive a soccer field built by the UAE Embassy. The development and construction of these community soccer fields is part of the UAE Embassy’s commitment to helping restore storm-impacted communities across the state. The first New Jersey soccer field was built in 2014 at the Texas Avenue Playground in Atlantic City in partnership with the Atlantic City Long-Term Recovery Group. The UAE Embassy’s significant contribution to Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in New Jersey also included a $4.5 million grant in 2013 to the HSNJRF, chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie, to repair and enhance the technology capabilities of public schools in storm-impacted areas. The funds were distributed to 30 public schools across nine Sandy-impacted districts, benefiting approximately 20,000 students.
"The Alliance is pleased to be the conduit to such community development activities that help our younger community members. It was a pleasure to work with each of our partners in this effort to bring quality recreational opportunities to local youth,” said Donna Blaze, Chief Executive Officer for the Affordable Housing Alliance.
Dr. Lamont Repollet, Superintendent for Asbury Park Public Schools, said, “The District of Asbury Park is excited to receive this gift from the UAE Embassy and the Affordable Housing Alliance. The soccer field will provide a safe environment for the students to build upon the administration’s principles of self-confidence, service, and leadership - and there is no better avenue to express all three than sports. This is the first step of what Asbury Park hopes will be a lasting partnership.”
Dana Al Marashi, Head of the Heritage and Social Affairs Department at the UAE Embassy, was joined at the field celebration by Superintendent Dr. Lamont Repollet, Bradley Elementary School students and staff, local government officials, community leaders, and local family and children. The school also organized a soccer clinic for the kids to mark the occasion.
Asbury Park is the eighth US city to receive the gift of a soccer field from the UAE Embassy. Since 2010, the UAE Embassy has collaborated with local community partners across the US to provide deserving children access to quality soccer facilities and programs. The Embassy has helped build fields in New York City, East Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Washington, DC, Dallas, and Atlantic City.
About Affordable Housing Alliance
The Affordable Housing Alliance, based in Eatontown NJ, was formed in 1991 and is a non-profit certified housing counseling agency committed to developing affordable housing and providing related housing services such as new home buyer education, financial literacy education, foreclosure counseling, housing rehabilitation, rental assistance, emergency utility assistance, and the development and management of affordable rental units. Since Super Storm Sandy, the Alliance has dedicated considerable resources to assist families rebuild their homes with our Bayshore Bungalow™ Program (www.bayshorebungalow.com). AHA is proud to be a member of the NeighborWorks® America network. For more information on the Affordable Housing Alliance, visit www.housingall.org or call 732-389-2958.
About the United Arab Emirates
The UAE is a source of stability, tolerance, innovation, and growth in the Arabian Gulf and around the world. The United States and the UAE are close friends and strong allies, working together to promote regional security, create economic prosperity, and address pressing global challenges. In fact, the UAE is the largest export market for US goods in the Middle East and more US naval vessels visit UAE ports than any other port outside the United States. Cultural, educational, and medical partnerships between the UAE and US are spurring innovation, inspiring creativity, and increasing understanding in both countries.
About the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund
The Relief Fund is a nonprofit organization started and chaired by First Lady Mary Pat Christie. The Relief Fund has raised $40 million dollars from donors around the world in support of the long-term recovery of New Jersey families, businesses and communities. To date, the Relief Fund has awarded more than $37.7 million to 107 nonprofit organizations providing Sandy-impacted residents with disaster case management, housing assistance, financial and legal counseling and mental health services. Learn more about the Relief Fund at: http://sandynjrelieffund.org and @sandynjrelief.