Map of planned 2020 Community Makeover projects areas in Avondale. Provided

More than 500 volunteers to participate in service day on August 6

By Michael Anderson 

Cincinnati Reds

P&G, the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden have selected the Cincinnati neighborhood of Avondale for the 2020 Community Makeover. 

Now in its 11th year, the 2020 ‘Makeover’ will be the most ambitious to date with six project zones at the following sites in Avondale:

  1. Larona Park/Avondale Beautification: Upgrade shelterlighting and add walking trail at Larona Park; plant trees and remove honeysuckle throughout Avondale.   
  2. Rockdale Academy: New all-abilities playground and outdoor STEM classroom; upgrade facilities for Cincinnati Public School’s Autism Center.  
  3. Rockdale/Harvey Ballfield and Park: Ball field renovations; new playground and basketball court; improved drainage.  
  4. U.S. Bank Boys & Girls Club & Crest Smile Shoppe: Improve facilities and resources for the after-school program. 
  5. South Avondale Elementary School: Indoor renovations and outdoor enhancements to playground and football field.  
  6. Blair Ball Fields: Two ball field renovations, new playground and other park amenities. 

“Our goal of the Community Makeover project is to reach every child and family in Avondale,” said Charley Frank, executive director, Reds Community Fund. “And the timing is right for the Makeover to return to Avondale. The 2013 project at Gabriel’s Place and Hirsch Recreation Center expanded our team beyond P&G and the Reds to include the Cincinnati Zoo and Cincinnati Children’s. Both have remained with the Makeover ever since and have helped build a remarkable vision for 2020.” 

Preliminary work is scheduled to begin in the spring and the community will be invited to a groundbreaking ceremony at a date to be announced.  

The projects will culminate on Thursday, August 6 when more than 500 volunteers from partners and the community will join Reds Community Fund staff and board members for the daylong service project.  

The Makeover is the recipient of a Community Development grant from Cincinnati Children’s to improve child and community health in Avondale. 

“Cincinnati Children’s is extremely proud to be a lead sponsor for the Reds Community Makeover coming to Avondale this year,” said Michael Fisher, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children’s. “This transformative project is an opportunity for Cincinnati Children’s team members to volunteer alongside our neighbors, friends, and other partners to directly benefit kids and the community we call home.” 

Many of the projects will promote vibrant and healthy lifestyles through outdoor activities by leveraging expertise from community partners.  

William “Bill” Whitten, a WEB Ventures partner and former P&G field sales executive who is active in Avondale development, said, “There is a billion dollars of development underway or in the planning stages in the Avondale corridor, but people are saying, ‘What about us?’ This makeover project is the one that transforms Avondale neighborhoods. 

Additional project partners include Cincinnati Public Schools, OneSource, Cincinnati ToolBank, Kroger, Cincinnati Recreation Commission, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Cincinnati, City of Cincinnati and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati.   

Information on the Community Makeover, including project sites and volunteer opportunities can be found at 

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