Stafford donates $1M to help renovate Detroit’s Lipke Recreation Center

A couple days after being named the Pro Bowl’s offensive MVP, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford announced that he’s become part of a revitalization project to help Detroit youngsters.

Stafford is donating $1 million through his Score 7 Charitable Fund to help renovate the shutdown Lipke Recreation Center on the city’s east side and turn it into a fledgling academic/athletic center for ages 8-18.

Stafford’s donation will be used to build an indoor football field on the grounds. The project, initiated by Detroit Free Press columnist/award-winning author Mitch Albom, will also feature a digital learning center and tutoring program.

It will be called the S.A.Y. (Sports, Academics, Youth) Detroit Play Center at Lipke Park. One requirement for participation is that the kids must maintain both good grades and school attendance.

Stafford wants to give back to the community that he’s now been a part of for the last six seasons since being the No. 1 pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. He and others are making a 10-year commitment to the program.

"This is the long haul," Stafford said.

He also vowed to stay directly involved on a regular basis, saying, "I’m going to bring guys from the Lions over here as much as I possibly can to hang out."