- NFL player Rob Gronkowski is donating $1.2 million to restore the Charlesbank playground in Boston.
- The project aims to help kids through sports, education, fitness and community development, and to inspire “the next generation of athletes.”
- A legislation is filed to have the playground renamed to Gronk Playground in honor of the donation.
In hopes that the restoration of the Boston playground “inspires the next generation of athletes,” NFL star Rob Gronkowski has donated $1.2 million.
The generous donation was made through Rob’s youth organization, Gronk Nation Youth Foundation, which helped raise the funds at the Boston Marathon and also intends to help create a trust to maintain the Charlesbank Playground — which is proposed to be renamed as Gronk Playground by the legislation filed by Representative Jay Livingstone and Senator Sal DiDomenico.
The playground project aims to help kids through sports, education, fitness and community development. “The concept of this playground will be to motivate kids to be outdoors, get fit and have fun,” the 31-year-old athlete said in a news conference on Friday.
According to Michael Nichols — the executive director of the Esplanade Association which will work with Rob in designing the playground — Rob’s donation is one of the largest private gifts ever given to a state park in Massachusetts. He added that the new playground will be “a significant and lasting gift to the next generation of children in Boston.”
During the Friday conference, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker thanked Rob for his and his family’s continued philanthropy to the state. “They give back time and time again and they especially give back to the youngest, most vulnerable and frailest among us, our children,” the governor said.
Spending nine seasons with the New England Patriots, Rob helped the team win three Super Bowls. He retired in 2019 and joined the team back in 2020, winning a Super Bowl with former Patriots teammate Tom Brady.
“No matter where I go, or where I live, I will always have a special connection to New England and the people who live here,” Rob said. “The Patriots taught me the importance of giving back the very first day I stepped into that organization.”
The playground’s slides, swings, and climbing structures are among the upgrades that will be covered by the donation. Rob’s foundation will also provide the first 10 years of maintenance costs.
“I’m humbled and honored to have the opportunity to be part of this amazing community and give back in this way for generations to come,” the NFL star said.