Canton Athletic Booster Club
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Concession shed built over the weekend will benefit all Canton HS/MS sports.
Canton School District To Apply for Permanent Lights at Track and Field Facility
CANTON – School officials are readying to file a formal application to add permanent lights at high school track and field facility. And if all goes well, the Canton Athletic Booster Club is on deck to unveil a “Lights on Canton” campaign to fund the improvements.
“It is the intent of the Board of Education to, very soon, file an application with you,” Superintendent Kevin D. Case told members of the Planning and Zoning Commission at a recent meeting.
Case told the commission and Compass that school officials are looking to file an application the commission can receive at its August meeting. He anticipates there would be a public hearing at the commission’s 21 meeting.
In November of 2012, voters approved a $3.615 million track and multi-use field facility at the school. At the time, The Board of Education did not seek approval for lighting but assured that the conduits and other infrastructure to support lights were built into the facility.
“It’s no secret lighting was going to come forward at some point,” Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman David Bondanza (He has since stepped off the commission), said at the recent meeting.
The Canton Athletic Booster Club is anxious to launch an ambitious fundraising project to fund the lights, poles and related improvements, but the Board of Education and school officials told the group that the town approvals should come first.
“No fundraising will start until all the proper procedures are followed,” Case recently told Canton Compass.
The school board must obtain site plan modification, two special permits from the Planning and Zoning Commission and a building permit before work can begin.
For the Planning and Zoning Commission, the application must show details such as height, fall clearness, lighting type, aiming diagrams, a photometric survey and information that addresses glow, “light trespass” and glare.” Additionally, all neighbors within 100 feet and the property must be notified for the public hearing.
Dwight Carlson, director of facilities for Canton Public Schools, will gather many of the details for the application.
The presence of night games and activities also brings up other issues, said commission member (and now chair) Jonathan Thiesse.
“You might have to think about noise and those types of disruption as well,” he said.
At least one nearby neighbor also has some concerns about lights and noise. Gordon Harmon said that overall the track has been a positive community asset but he is concerned about the idea of lights.
“Night games bring more noise and traffic,” he said.
While they realize there are hurdles to jump, members of the booster club are still hopeful to get rolling some time this fall, especially for the alumni weekend events in late October.
While the school will get firmer prices, Booster Club president Greg Skinner is estimating that cost to be the ballpark of $325,000. And while it’s a sizeable sum, the hope is to have them installed by homecoming of 2017.
The booster club feels it’s the right time. For one, Skinner said, there is a rising level of excitement around recent sports successes, including state championship girls basketball and lacrosse teams.
And importantly, it’s the right time, said Kimberly Marze, a member of the fundraising committee for the effort.
“I felt really strongly. Our community is so small, I think we can only support one big ask at a time,” Marze said. “We had the perfect window of time to do it.”
The group plans to take a multi-pronged approach to fundraising. Ideas include a letter campaign to solicit “donate a pole” and “donate a light” funds, a family kick-off party, a Halloween themed event, sale of themed items bracelets and glow sticks, a golf tournament, winter festival, family swim party, 5k event and more.
While the booster club is spearheading the effort, they are also working on a “super PAC” of sorts and hope to work with youth sports organization and other partners.
“Everyone needs a little skin in the game,” Marze said.
“We’re working on several different levels to bring multiple organizations together,” Skinner added.
Skinner also plans to encourage high school athletes to be heavily involved in the effort. In addition to benefitting some directly in future years, it’s important for athletes to give back to their community, he said.
“It’s a great experience to play sports but they should also know we live in a community where people work hard to make this happen,” Skinner said.
The group also hopes to gather alumni support for the effort.
The track is well used by school and youth sports teams, as well as the generally community, Skinner added.
“It’s a resource for people,” Skinner said.
Despite his concern about lights and feeling that football is a highly dangerous support, Harmon agrees it is a well-utilized asset for teams and the general community.
“A lot of people get enjoyment out of it,” he said.
While it’s conceivable the Planning and Zoning Commission could set some restrictions on their use, members of the booster club feel that opening up to reasonable night use has many benefits for scheduling, local teams and even the community. They are already talking about ideas such as community walking nights.
“It’s about the entire community,” Skinner said. “If we have light, people will be able to exercise later, longer.”
While they wait to see what the process will bring, school officials have expressed their appreciation to the booster club for the desire to take on the project.
“I want to express on behalf of the Canton Board of Education our appreciation to the Canton Athletic Booster Club as well as to Kimberly Marze and Christy Mitchell for their leadership, enthusiasm, and hard work as they begin the organization process of fundraising for the athletic field lights,” said Board of Education president Julie Ausere. “It will be a lot of work, but they have lots of great ideas for community events to bring our community together as well as raise the money for this cause. The Canton Athletic Booster support is integral to the athletics of our middle and high school students and the Board appreciates all they do to make Canton Athletics great.”
‘I’m very excited about his effort,” Case said. “I’m very grateful for their support of the track and field. “This has always been the next phase of the project.”
Additionally, at a recent meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a temporary to 12×14 concession stand, to be built at the track and field facility by booster club volunteers. The structure will be used to sell pre-prepared food during games to raise additional funds. The idea is that the school can use structure can then be used for storage once a permanent structure is in place
The booster club is also working on several other initiatives, including an online scrapbook and greater outreach to alumni. Learn more at http://www.cantonathleticboosterclub.org
Canton Athletic Booster Club Funds Banners at Canton Middle/High School Campus
April 27, 2016 Community, Schools No Comments
Arnold Orde works on hanging one of the banners.
By Photo by John Fitts
By John Fitts
CANTON — Thanks to funds supplied by the Canton Athletic Booster Club, several new banners have added a new look to the Canton Middle/High School campus.
The banners are hung from light poles near the school exit and entrances as well as the vicinity of the track and multi-field facility. They include a variety of messages of logos and academic, athletic and inspirational themes. Those include “Home of the Warriors, “Pursue Excellence” and “Commit to Integrity.” The banners dovetail on other recent efforts, such as upgraded banners in the gymnasium.
“The Booster Club thought that the addition of the banners on the light posts outside would be a nice addition to the improvements that have already been made,” said booster club president Ann Bonini. “They welcome everyone, let them know we are the home of the Warriors, and shows pride in not only the school but the athletic program. ”
While some of the banners are more academic in nature, Bonini said they also dovetail nicely with recent sports successes and a push to add more signage and banners throughout the school.
“The athletic department at CHS got some long overdue attention from the new administration and the Board of Education,” Bonini said. “In the past few years, there has been a transformation at Canton High School. Starting with the addition of the beautiful track and field, I think the school, the administration and most importantly the athletes started to feel a sense of pride. New uniforms have been purchased and fields and facilities improved. Craig DeAngelis, the athletic director, has also worked very hard making sure the inside of the school also shows that sense of pride. There are signs all around the school with the Canton logo and the gymnasium has all new updated state championship and conference banners. There were some individual players and teams that had won state titles years ago that had not received a banner recognizing their achievements. The Booster Club helped with the funding of replacing and updating all those banners last fall.”
DeAngelis said he wants those who come to the campus to immediately know where they are and what values the school holds.
“I think it was that idea of continuing the community pride we already possess,” he said. “Any way you can highlight how special this town is, is a worthwhile effort. To work with an organization that thinks the same way is a benefit to the town and ultimately it’s a benefit to the kids.”
In addition to the previous efforts at home, last fall Bonini saw banners outside of Northwestern Regional School District No. 7.
The booster club began brainstorming and felt banners, which cost approximately $2,500, would add a nice look to the outside of the school.
“Many people including visitors from other schools, have commented how impressive the gym/school looks,” Bonini said.
The booster club raises approximately $10,000 to $15,000 per year but Bonini said the group tries really hard to avoid public fundraisers that could conflict with groups that self fund school sports.
Most of the booster’s club’s money comes from concession sales at basketball games, membership fees, Spirit Week proceeds, and bottle redemptions at the town transfer station. For the latter, Bonini especially credited Joe Royer, who last year built a new collection shed as an Eagle project, and John Jarzbek, who sorts and organizes the cans and bottles.
In recent years, some of the initiatives funded in full or part by the booster club include light rental at Spirit Week Games, four $500 scholarships to graduating seniors, portable shade tent for the track team, concussion screening at the middle and high school, fan buses for championship games, pull up bars for the weight room, “rebounders” for field hockey team, girls lacrosse goalie set and banners in the gymnasium and school.
The club has also set aside $5,000 for a concession stand at the multipurpose track and field. That will be installed after the Board of Education approves the electrical installation. The club has also committed to a logo and netting for the turf field.
“It’s been an exciting time for Canton Athletics and we want to do whatever we can to help the athletes feel a sense of pride and excitement for their school,” Bonini said.
See more at http://www.cantonathleticboosterclub.org.