Attendees at Eden Jr./Sr. High School football and lacrosse games will notice some long-awaited improvements at the home field this season.
First is the new state-of-the-art, 17- by 16-foot scoreboard. This is almost double the size of the previous 1977 model, which died during the fourth week of the 2012 football season. The new scoreboard was erected Thursday and a dedication ceremony is set for the Homecoming game on Sept. 28.
Second is a new sound system.
“The sound system was so shaky, that once you were more than two rows from the press box, you could hardly hear a thing,” said Athletic Director Marisa Fallacaro.
Other work includes upgrading the snack booth and the enclosure by the grandstand. These enhancements are part of a plan by the athletic department to improve equipment for all of Eden’s sports teams, with the replacement of the sound system and scoreboards in the high school gymnasium next on the agenda.
“We couldn’t do any of this without the work of the Eden Booster Club, the Eden Board of Education and the community,” Fallacaro said. The athletic department approached the booster club and its president, Jack Cuddihy, who is also a member of the Eden Recreation Advisory Board, for help.
“Drew Hesse, one of our parents, contacted all the parents of students on sports teams, to get on board. Without them and their hard work, this project would not have happened,” Fallacaro said.
Presentations were given to community leaders and business owners to appeal for donations. They also placed ads in the Eden Pennysaver seeking donations, sponsorships and help.
“The response was amazing,” said Eden Schools Superintendent Sandra Anzalone. “I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from the community on the upgrades. There has been a need for this for a while and everyone is pleased to see this happening.”
Out of the $85,000 needed, close to $20,000 has been raised by the Boosters Club during various campaigns, as well as individual donations sent to the Eden Athletic Department. Other donations have included labor as well as concrete and support pillars from local Tim Horton’s owner Randy Schmitz.
“Our motto was ‘Go Big or Go Home’ and we are getting there,” Fallacaro said. “The outpouring from the community is amazing, and as we get the money, we will continue our upgrades.”