The Greencastle-Antrim Education Foundation held a Groundbreaking Ceremony, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at Kaley Field, for their new state-of-the-art, 3,000 sq. ft. building which will house ticket sales, concessions and restrooms.
Despite cool temperatures and strong winds, about fifty local business and community members attended the closed event to help celebrate the launch of the project, which was originally slated to begin construction in the spring of 2020. Due to COVID, the project had to be put on indefinite hold last spring, until local businessman, Dean Martin, Sunnyway Foods, challenged other local business owners to join him in making major donations. Those major donations, added to the original major donations from F&M Trust and Sunnyway Foods, allowed plans to be set in motion again.
President of the GAEF Board of Directors, Vernon McCauley, served as Master of Ceremonies for the event, and also co-chairs the GAEF Building Committee, along with retired bank president, Jeff Shank. Shank shared with the crowd the genesis of the project, and the partnership between the GAEF organization and the school district in order to undertake such a project. “Having put the Kaley Field project on hold for a year due to COVID, the GAEF Board never lost focus on getting this project completed”. He expressed his appreciation to the contractor by stating, “Many thanks to Eagle Construction for enduring countless changes and modifications from dealing with committees and donors.”
“GAEF is extremely appreciative to all of our donors for their financial support in making the Kaley Field Project a reality”, McCauley stated, as he introduced four of the major donors, each of whom offered remarks: Tim Henry, F&M Trust; Dean Martin, Sunnyway Foods; Greg Weaver, Antrim Way Honda; and David Rajtik, Antrim Insurance. Other Major Donors include: Dean Martin, Margaret Martin, Greg and Cherie Weaver, and Pamela Weaver Knepper.
Additional donations have been received from: Frederick Seibert & Associates; GoSports Turf – John McDowell; Graphics Universal – Garon Gembe; John Allison Public House – John Flannery; Lumber Direct – Mike and Misty Stenger; Martin and Martin Engineering – Joe McDowell; Moen Products – Larry Webster; Nitterhouse Foundation; Strait Steel – Greg Strait; TelePlus – Frank Guthrie.
In introducing Greencastle-Antrim School District Superintendent, Dr. Lura Hanks, McCauley said “This project would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our District Superintendent, Dr. Lura Hanks, and her Administrative Team, including Athletic Director, Vicki Ritchey.”
Total to date, $487,000 of the $600,000 has been donated or pledged to the building project. It is anticipated that the project will be complete in time for the launch of the 2021-2022 school year. The GAEF Board plans to continue fundraising until the overall goal has been reached. Local businesses wishing to help underwrite the Kaley Field Project should contact the organization by emailing Executive Director, Dana Given, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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