Super Bowl legacy grant awards $3 million to 117 local nonprofit organizations in Las Vegas, leaving ‘lasting impact’ on Super Bowl LVIII’s host city

Super Bowl Legacy Grant award recipients.
Members from 88 local nonprofit organizations gather at the Neon Museum on Thursday after splitting $1.8 million among their respective organizations. (Jalen Taylor/MEDILL)

By Jalen Taylor 
Medill Reports

LAS VEGAS — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell awarded $3 million in unrestricted funding to 117 different nonprofit organizations in southern Nevada on Thursday as part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant program.

More than 100 people, representing 88 different nonprofit organizations, gathered at the Neon Museum to celebrate the program, which is a partnership between the NFL Foundation and the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee.

“The Super Bowl is more than just a big game, especially for Las Vegas,” said Denette Suddeth, charity board member and regional president of PNC Bank. “It’s an opportunity through the NFL and the charity’s board to have a lasting, significant impact for those most in need.”

“We’re building and planting roots here in the Las Vegas community,” said Sandra Douglass Morgan, Raiders president and vice chair of the host committee. “This is really just an incredible step to continue to grow our footprint here, continue to grow the game of football.”

To be eligible for a grant, local organizations were required to submit a proposal aligning with one or more of the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee’s “Pillars of Focus,” which includes topics such as youth sports programming, school improvements, health, fitness and wellness, teaching and literacy, life skills/career enrichment, economic advancement, workforce readiness, emergency assistance and active duty/military veteran support.

“The Super Bowl grant is a legacy project that we have focused on for really almost three decades now,” Goodell said. “The intention is to make sure that when the Super Bowl leaves, that the NFL’s presence and the Super Bowl’s presence and how this community came together is continued to be felt.”

If last year’s event serves as any indicator, it certainly will be.

In 2023, the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program awarded more than $2 million in grants to Arizona-based nonprofit organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona, Phoenix Children’s Hospital for Suicide Prevention and Ability360, which provides personal care attendants assisting people with disabilities.

“The $65,000 grant we received from the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee and the NFL Foundation has been instrumental in advancing our mission to provide services and resources to individuals with disabilities in our community,” said John Beaubien, director of marketing and communication at Ability360. “With the grant, we were able to purchase a new truck and trailer, enhancing our Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center’s capacity to offer adaptive sports and outdoor activities.”

“The new equipment has directly facilitated our ability to reach and serve a broader audience of individuals with disabilities, enabling them to participate in sports and outdoor activities that have a profound positive impact on their physical and mental well-being. Additionally, the truck has supported our programming in Arizona, California and Nevada,” Beaubien said.

According to the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee’s website, Super Bowl LVII resulted in 103,000 unique out of state visitors and it created 10,459 annual jobs. Additionally, the committee said, $1.3 billion was generated in gross output for the state, and $726 million was contributed to Arizona’s gross domestic product.

In terms of direct economic impact, no other special event in Arizona’s history has positively impacted the area as much as Super Bowl LVII, according to an independent study conducted at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State. The Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee said it hopes Super Bowl LVIII will have a similar impact.

“We did get selected as a grant winner; however, we have no idea what amount we won,” said AnnaMarie Missisian, educator, entrepreneur and nonprofit CEO at Las Vegas Breast Cancer Warriors. “We’re hoping it’s enough to help with part of our cleaning program.”

According to Missisian, after surgery or during chemotherapy, it can be very difficult for breast cancer patients to clean their homes. To remedy that issue, they try to send housecleaners to help them out. “It’s costly, but I know the survivors appreciate it,” Missisian said.

Genevieve Frederick, founder and president at Feeding Pets of the Homeless echoed similar sentiments.

“Our cases increased over 19% last year, which put a strain on our financials,” Frederick said. “This grant will help us continue our mission of saving pets and providing pet food and veterinary services through southern Nevada programs.”

Courtney Kaplan, a host committee member whose son died in a car crash four years ago, was gifted a pair of Super Bowl tickets for her efforts working with all the organizations benefiting from the Legacy Grant.

“Four years ago, a call came in to me that tripped me to my knees. And I knew that from that moment, my life would change. … I just didn’t know how much,” Kaplan said.

“My son Michael, at the age of 17, decided to be an organ, tissue and eye donor at a trip to the DMV,” Kaplan said. “Not thinking that I would ever have to remind myself of that decision. … But when it came time, when we learned of Michael’s injuries, there was nothing to think about. I only knew that I had the opportunity to celebrate 18 years with an amazing human. And now there are six individuals who are alive today because of Michael’s decision.”

“There isn’t any greater honor than knowing that your son has made such an impact on not only his recipients, but all of you,” Kaplan said. “It’s an impact that is just never ending. … It’s global, and it’s international.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell awards host committee member with two Super Bowl tickets
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, right, embraces emotional Super Bowl Host Committee member Courtney Kaplan after gifting her a pair of Super Bowl tickets for her work with all the organizations that are benefiting from the Legacy Grant. (Jalen Taylor/MEDILL)

According to Myisha Boyce, chief community engagement officer for the Las Vegas Super Bowl Host Committee, they “got so many applications and saw so much impact,” they wanted to do more. So, the charity’s board also decided to award the YMCA with an additional $58,000.

“This community is going to shine on Sunday, we’re confident,” Goodell said. “A lot of people are coming in, and they’re going to see this community on a global platform. Over 200 million people watching this weekend will see Las Vegas at its best.”

Jalen Taylor is a sports media graduate student at Medill. You can follow him on X @jalenstaylor.