PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For the second year in a row, Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowl linebacker Connor Barwin and his Make The World Better (MTWB) Foundation hosted a benefit concert at Union Transfer. All proceeds from this year’s concert were matched by Barwin through MTWB for a total of $300,000. The funds will be donated directly to the foundation’s next major project, the revitalization of Smith Playground (2100 S. 24th Street) in South Philadelphia. The concert, presented by NRG Energy, was held on Saturday, June 20.
To download photos from the concert, please click here.
“I want to thank Union Transfer, the musicians and sponsors for another year of unwavering support,” said Barwin. “Not only did we aim to put on an entertaining show for fans, but all proceeds will go towards transforming South Philly’s Smith Playground into a safe and enjoyable place for the community. I am humbled to live in a city that is filled with so many people who want to make their neighborhood, and the world, a better place to live, to grow and to learn.”
The sold-out concert featured performances by Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco (solo), New York City rock band Parquet Courts, Houston 10-piece soul band The Suffers and Philadelphia’s own sultry trio Marian Hill. Joining Barwin in the crowd of 1,300 were Eagles teammates Jason Kelce, Vinny Curry, Mychal Kendricks, Beau Allen, Taylor Hart, Eagles outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern and former Houston Texan Shaun Cody, among others. Barwin, his teammates and the bands mingled with fans and friends at a pre-show barbecue reception which featured an array of grilled bites donated by James Beard Award-winning chef Marc Vetri of Philadelphia’s Vetri Family restaurants and his staff.
Courtesy of Barwin and his MTWB Foundation, the revitalization of South Philadelphia’s Smith Playground will provide major improvements to the 7.5-acre park including the Recreation Center building and adjacent play spaces, new football and baseball fields and the installation of Green Stormwater Infrastructure by the Philadelphia Water Department. Key partners on the project include Urban Roots, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Philly Rising. Renovations are set to kick off in Summer 2016.
Barwin, 28, led the NFC with a career-high 14.5 sacks in 2014, his second year with the Eagles. The son of a city manager who grew up in and around Detroit, MI, Barwin serves as a spokesman and rider for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and often can be seen around Philadelphia driving his electric-powered Tesla or riding his bicycle. He also is a spokesman for NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 power generation and retail electricity business with whom he embarked on trips to Haiti in 2014 and 2015 to help install solar panels at an orphanage, a maternity center and a school.
The MTWB Foundation, founded by Barwin in 2013, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Philadelphia’s youth by providing safe and fun places for artistic and athletic development. The foundation’s inaugural benefit concert in 2014 – headlined by Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile & The Violators – raised more than $185,000 for Ralph Brooks Park in the Point Breeze neighborhood of South Philly. Construction at Ralph Brooks Park, which includes a new basketball court, a tot lot and an adjacent community garden, is slated to open in early August. For more information on the MTWB Foundation, please visit www.MTWB.org.