Booster club works for turf at EPHS

The Eagle Point Boosters club has taken on a project that at first seems insurmountable.  That group met at EPHS on April 30, to discuss the subject.

The goal is to raise enough money to resurface the football field at Eagle stadium to an all-weather fabric that will serve the needs of more than the just the football program.  What seems insurmountable is the $1.1 million price tag, but nearly $810,000 has been pledged already.  That leaves just $290,000 to be raised locally to begin construction.

Eagle Point Boosters, who have been quiet of late, have again emerged to rush to the aid of the program.  The goals of the organization are to enhance the sporting  experience for all youth in the schools in Eagle Point.  They plan on this by resurfacing the football stadium, providing cash to the district to reinstate middle school sports and by adding a roof to the stadium.

But first things first.  Large grants have been made available for the resurfacing project, grants that may disappear if a community match is not made.  The Boosters want everyone to know that not a single penny is coming from the District, so the arguments about savings from the closing of Elk-Trail School to surface the football field  are without merit. 

Because the grants require a community match, the Boosters are appealing to community members to first join the Association, then become involved in networking with friends and neighbors to raise the funds necessary.  Association spokesman, Ted Dole, said they estimate the amount needed from the community would be in the neighborhood of $130,000.  The Boosters feel they can raise another $160,000 from local corporations, and that would bring them in line with what is needed.

However, there is a fly in the ointment.  This all needs to be done relatively soon, because they have to make a commitment to have the work done by the beginning of the school year.  In order for that to happen they must begin construction by July 5.

So the first thing to be done, according to Dole is to recruit members to the association.  Then team leaders will be picked from the Association and each will be responsible for a number of other volunteers.  Those, in turn, will both recruit and solicit funds for the project.  Again, time is of the essence.

The turf field kickoff will be held Saturday, May 12, at Eagle Stadium at 11:30 a.m. .    
Dole referred to the surface at Crater HS in Central Point as having increased all-weather sports for numbers of students and other leagues around that area.  He said that many other activities would now have a chance to use the facility because artificial turf can be used everyday with little or no maintenance.  Football fields rarely are used more than 30 days per year because fall weather is unpredictable and the grass needs to “heal” after each use. 

Proponents say the field would be safer than a sod field, causing far fewer neck, back and joint injuries.  They say the field will not require water, fertilizer and the field is virtually maintenance free.  The surface is expected to last some 12-15 years, at which time, it would have to be replaced.

The key point the Boosters want to make is that there is no school district money being used in the installation.  Money is being raised through the grants and through community donations.  Dole also said that all donations are tax-deductible because the Boosters are a 501 (C) (3) non-profit organization.

The Turf Committee is made up of community leaders.  They include Mike Malepsy, Phil Cam, Jeff Johnson, Nick Parsons, Fred Thomas, Shawn Grady, Hank Rademacher, Bob Bergen, Jacob Schauffler, Ted Dole, Bob Russell, Bryan Wood, Jonathon Bilden, Mark Hefley, Brian Cam, Scott Grissom, and Blake Cam. 

For more information on the subject, contact either Jacob Schauffler at (541) 261-6833 or Ted Dole at (541) 840-7955. 
By Ralph McKechnie
For the Independent

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