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Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Donates $200 Million
Gifted to Create New Parks

Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation Donates $200 Million

Ralph C. Wilson Jr. was the owner of the Buffalo Bills football team and one of the original founders of the American Football League, which later merged with the National Football League.

In a celebration of what would be Ralph Wilson's 100th birthday, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation is donating a whopping $100 million each to the cities of Buffalo and Detroit. The money will go towards "creating signature parks" and "a connected trail system" within them, in an overall attempt to strengthen the communities.

The two cities were chosen because Mr. Wilson lived in southeast Michigan and the football team he owned, the Buffalo Bills, are located in Buffalo. Furthermore, organizations within these two regions are welcome to apply for grant funding of their projects by visiting the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation's website.

So far, there are at least two confirmed parks and trail systems to receive $50 million each as well as 250 miles of trails between the two of them. The West Riverfront Park in Detroit and the LaSalle Park in Buffalo are both located on the water and an international border. Forty million dollars will be given to each park for capital construction and $10 million to each in endowment support. Furthermore, according to an article by, both parks will be renamed Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park under completion.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation began operations in 2015. The foundation has a spending structure that "dictates spend-down of [their] funds by 2035."

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July 15, 2019, 8:05 pm PDT

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