TO: Chelmsford Youth Lacrosse Association (CYLA) Member Parents FROM: John Gump, President CYLA Board of Directors John Gump David Kampner Carol Gallo Chris Desilvio Steven Wright David Wood Jim Dalton Keith Stone Bob Loeber Nancy D’Agostino Lisa Vecchione
Subject: Fundraiser for Chelmsford Turf Athletic Fields (Field Turf)
Dear Youth Lacrosse Supporter,
As you may be aware the Town of Chelmsford is planning for new turf athletic fields (Field Turf) at the High School and McCarthy Middle School. This has been a goal for Chelmsford Youth Lacrosse as well as other athletic programs for many years. Currently these two fields have strict limits on use. New turf fields would allow for year round use as these fields can be plowed. The new field turf would include a track and the fields will be lined for lacrosse, field hockey, football and soccer.
In an effort to continue the support and growth of our youth and high school sports, the CYLA board of directors is asking for your support with this important step that will allow for the success and longevity of many athletic programs. CYLA is dedicated to providing our boys and girls the best possible experience in learning and playing the game of lacrosse. Having state of the art turf playing fields, as most of our neighboring and competing towns have, is part of this endeavor. Having turf fields is no longer a privilege for the few wealthy towns that can afford them. They are a necessity to support the popular, fast-growing sports like youth lacrosse. We will no longer be constrained by snow and rain or issues that come with prolonged usage on grass fields. To give an example of the challenges we face, our boys program was not allowed to use the McCarthy field (their usual home field for games and practices) last year because the field was in such bad shape. Our high school boy’s lacrosse team, who also uses McCarthy for practices and games and are not allowed to use the high school football field, were also displaced to another field. New turf fields will not only resolve these types of issues, they will also help to preserve the many grass fields that will continue to be used to support youth and high school sports by not over-taxing these fields. We will no longer have to endure the embarrassment of hosting other towns on our deplorable fields or driving by the McCarthy field and seeing the terrible shape it is usually in. We need to get these fields now and join other towns like Woburn, Westford, Lowell, Tyngsboro, Bedford, Lexington, Concord, Acton, Sudbury, Watertown, Waltham, Haverhill, Lawrence, Reading, Belmont, Walpole, Ashburnham, Newton, Fall River, Lynn, Brockton, Andover, Pembroke, Canton, Taunton and Burlington who already have turf fields.
Admittedly, things are happening very fast and fundraising efforts are already getting underway. There is only a short period of time before the Town Meeting to decide whether to proceed or kill the project. For Town Meeting to consider authorizing this project planners are expecting private fundraising to cover $500,000 of the total estimated cost of $3.1 million. As a youth organization that is dedicated to giving our boys and girls the opportunity to learn and compete in the sport of lacrosse we acknowledge that we must do our part in the fundraising. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $50,000 through different fundraising events. The first fundraising effort by CYL will be a mandatory cash calendar raffle that each member family will be required to participate and contribute $100. There will be opportunity to earn your money back by selling your book of raffles, so it’s really your effort that is required to make turf fields a reality for our town. We would not be mandating this requirement unless it was absolutely necessary and of course we understand the burden this will put on all of us. But we have one chance to make this happen and that time is right now. We hope that you understand that the viability of our youth programs going forward in large part depends on having turf fields. We can all take pride when our new pristine fields are installed and are being used by our youth and high school programs without limitation. Specifics for this effort will be on the CYLA website in the next few days and calendars will be available at the indoor sessions as well as the mandatory parents meeting that will be held at 7:00PM on March 6th in the cafeteria at the McCarthy Middle School.
Thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity.