Endowment established to support Wilson athletic complex

The J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex in the city of Wilson has a new endowment at the North Carolina Community Foundation that will provide ongoing support for its maintenance and future construction projects.

J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex began in 2005 as a top-notch soccer complex encompassing 113 acres. Since then, the city of Wilson added the All Children’s Playground in 2007 and the J. Burt Gillette Baseball Complex in 2009. While these venues have had an incredible impact and history, there remains room to grow, even with the recent opening of the Miracle Field.

The endowment to support the athletic complex was established by the Shreve family, who are residents of Wilson. The Shreve family has a history of volunteering in the community with nonprofits and public entities.

“This endowment will go a long way to helping the park’s future growth and maintenance,” said Bill Shreve.

Gillette Athletic Complex hosts thousands of athletes and contributes around $5 million in economic impact to Wilson’s economy annually. The home of the Wilson Parks and Recreation Department soccer league, Wilson City Little League and the Wilson Youth Soccer Association, the complex also hosts state, regional and national-level tournaments, annually attracting athletes from nearly every state, including men’s and women’s NCAA soccer. In October, the city broke ground on a new pickleball complex that will serve the Wilson community as well as major tournament play.

“The Gillette Athletic Complex has been a major part of reaching our goal of serving the people of Wilson while bringing in new visitors,” said David Lee, Wilson Parks and Recreation Director. “This endowment will help us maintain the quality of the facilities and accommodate future additions. The vision of the Shreve family to get this started is very generous and will serve the Wilson community well. We owe them a great deal of gratitude.”

Designated endowment funds like the J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex Endowment are established to benefit specific organizations or programs, providing a reliable annual source of income in perpetuity. There are more than 340 designated endowments supporting charitable organizations and community causes at NCCF.

“The endowment for the J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex is a great example of a generous donor finding a way to support a need in their community, which is at the heart of our work,” said Kathryn R. Holding, NCCF’s Vice President of Philanthropic Services.

Community members can make a donation to the endowment for the park at nccommunityfoundation.org/JBurtGillette.