CLEVELAND, OH – Once again the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans will be able to positively impact the Cleveland community during the NBA Playoffs by watching road playoff games at Quicken Loans Arena. All admission proceeds for the Official Road Game Watch Parties at The Q, presented by Bud Light, are being donated to Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, to help continue and grow the fight against neighborhood blight in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. During the 2015 and 2016 Cavs Playoff runs combined, the Road Game Watch Parties generated more than $1 million dollars from admissions that were donated to several local charitable and nonprofit organizations.
Fighting blight is a cause the Cavaliers and their affiliated Family of Companies have been engaged with for years. Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers Family of Companies have helped impact the local fight against blight by playing the lead lobbying role in securing federal Hardest Hit Funds to fight blight in Ohio and across the Midwest. Specifically, Cuyahoga County received $60 million in 2015 to initiate a demolition program for 5,000 blighted homes. To date, 82% of that has been used to address neighborhood blight in the city of Cleveland. The Cavs organization also recently contributed $100,000 to help launch the initial phases of a Western Reserve Land Conservancy program also focused on local blight elimination.
“In total, Ohio has benefited from $272 million in Hardest Hit Fund allocations. We could not have done this without the efforts of Dan Gilbert and his staff. They quarterbacked the lobbying efforts,” said Western Reserve Land Conservancy Vice President Jim Rokakis. “This partnership has produced great returns for Cleveland’s neighborhoods in the past, and I am confident there will be even greater opportunities to help our hardest hit neighborhoods in the future.”
The Cavaliers and their Family of Companies have also been deeply engaged with Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity for years, having donated over $325,000. This past September (2016) the Family of Companies, including the Cavaliers, Quicken Loans, and JACK Entertainment focused on Buckeye neighborhood efforts with over 400 staff members donating over 2,000 volunteer hours to help restore more than 50 properties.
Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity works to eliminate substandard housing by building and fully rehabbing homes, strengthening neighborhoods and reweaving communities. Over the last 30 years, Cleveland Habitat has brought together over 250 sponsor groups and 80,000 volunteers to help more than 230 Habitat homeowners, including more than 800 children, have a safe and decent place to live. Habitat homeowners reside in affordable homes in 20 different Cleveland neighborhoods. Recently, Cleveland Habitat launched a three-year initiative to fully rehab 100 homes in Cleveland’s hardest hit neighborhoods, including the Buckeye area. The Cavaliers and their Family of Companies will also be engaged with this specific initiative through the period with future watch party donations and support.
“We can’t think of a better partner to have to fight neighborhood blight than the Cavs,” said John Habat, President/CEO of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity. “A winning team lifts the morale of the entire community and this generous designation will restore life and vitality to a forgotten Cleveland neighborhood.”
Moving forward, the Cavaliers are also partnering with the United Pastors in Mission (UPM) on Habitat for Humanity efforts and the continued fight against neighborhood blight. UPM is a long-standing, large network of local pastors and congregations that also work with political and civic leaders to contribute to a positive, forward-looking community related to matters of significance and impact with their congregations.
“We’re very pleased to be part of this constructive and important mission the Cavaliers, Habit for Humanity and others are deeply committed to. Blight is something that touches many of our neighborhoods and working in partnership like this is critical to eliminating it,” said Reverend C. Jay Matthews, Executive Director of United Pastors in Mission. “It is great to see the Cavaliers organization continue their leadership role in this fight against blight, and UPM stands with them in this battle and we are eager to make progress together!”