Newark, NJ — Earlier this year, La Casa de Don Pedro was granted $100,000 from the Devils Youth Foundation (DYF) as part of its continued commitment to bringing life-changing opportunities to New Jersey’s youth through the power of sports and entertainment. The Devils Youth Foundation’s (DYF) largest-ever grant signifies the New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center, and Devils Youth Foundation’s long-term commitment to the city of Newark.
The grant provided funds to La Casa de Don Pedro to renovate our brand new “El Patio de La Casa”- a revitalized space which will serve as a vibrant community hub modeled after a Caribbean Plaza with safe spaces for children to play, attend concerts, have a neighborhood communal refrigerator, and enjoy festivals. El Patio de La Casa’s subsequent community programming will serve over 800 youth in Newark annually.
To kick off the new space, The Devils Youth Hockey & Growth Initiatives team coordinated a ball hockey clinic on October 11th with Devils Alumni Grant Marshall and the Devils mascot, NJ Devil, for over 40 kids from La Casa. The event was also attended by La Casa de Don Pedro’s Board President, Arcelio Aponte, as well as Board Members Richard Roper and Farhan Ali.
“We have made a commitment to our community that goes far beyond a single grant,” said DYF executive director Kate Whitman Annis. “We want kids to have access to sports to build confidence and resilience, and that means creating continuing partnerships that have a long-term and lasting impact.” Part of the Devils partnership with La Casa de Don Pedro includes introducing kids to ball hockey and working to get them on the ice.
“We are so happy to open El Patio de La Casa,” said Peter Rosario, President & CEO, La Casa de Don Pedro. “In our heritage, El Patio is the space where everything happens, it could be a wedding today, a christening tomorrow, be a concert venue, a place for a movie night or even a hockey game. We are so excited that this space, which before the Devils Youth Foundation so generously donated to us was rocks and weeds, is now going to be activated for the entire community.”
“When the Devils first came to New Jersey in 1982, one of our missions was to provide support for our community,” said Jake Reynolds, President, New Jersey Devils, Prudential Center & Devils Youth Foundation. “Through the Devils Youth Foundation, that is exactly what we strive to do. We are very fortunate our managing partners David and Allison Blitzer and Josh and Marjorie Harris share that same commitment and unwavering support for this foundation. We are excited to join our incredible partners at La Casa de Don Pedro to be able to dedicate El Patio de La Casa to the great City of Newark.”
“It is a real honor to see the work that we do at the foundation level come to action,” said Vaughn Crowe, Devils Youth Foundation Board Member. “To partner with one of the finest youth services and family organizations in the entire State of New Jersey in La Casa de Don Pedro is a watershed moment for Devils Youth Foundation. As a Newark resident, I look forward to spending time here at “El Patio de La Casa” for years to come.”
“We are thankful and grateful to have partners like the Devils here in the City of Newark that support La Casa de Don Pedro,” said Arcelio Aponte, La Casa de Don Pedro Board Chairman. “We have been here 50 years providing services throughout the community and it is wonderful for us to be able to provide a great facility like “El Patio de La Casa” so that all of Newark’s youth can truly enjoy this space. On behalf of the board members of La Casa de Don Pedro, we want to thank the Devils for all that they have done.”
In addition to the Hockey Clinic, the New Jersey Devils hosted La Casa de Don Pedro for their Hispanic Heritage Night game on Friday, October 28th versus the Colorado Avalanche at the Prudential Center. Approximately 600 La Casa clients, staff, and their family members were given complimentary tickets to the game, where they were also celebrated with a jumbotron appearance and zamboni rides.
Over the past two years, Devils Youth Foundation has supported 35 nonprofit organizations with over one million dollars in funding which has helped serve over 50,000 children in our communities. To date the grant provided to La Casa de Don Pedro is the largest grant ever provided by Devils Youth Foundation to one organization.