WESTON, Conn. -- A committee has formed in town to bring lights to the football field at Weston High School.
The group, named the Weston Lights Committee, was formed to plan and fund the installation of state-of-the-art lights on the high school stadium field. The project will be 100 percent privately funded at no cost to Weston residents.
“The schools are Weston’s community center,’’ said Michael Carter, head of the Weston Sports Commission. “The place to celebrate and gather for July 4th fireworks, Memorial Day parade, Relay for life, Special Olympics and comfort stations after hurricanes. The hope of the committee is that stadium events will be regular community events. The more this idea takes shape as we talk to our neighbors, the more I see it as a social gathering place, bringing many Westonites together.”
The 30-person committee believe the lights could make the high school stadium a central gathering place where all Westonites may go to watch football, soccer and lacrosse and a place to safely jog and walk.
The project took shape this past summer under Carter's direction. It was formally presented to the Board of Education’s facilities committee in October. Since then, the Board of Education has held several meetings on the merits of the project and ensuring the school remains a good neighbor in the process.
The Weston Lights Committee was created by a cross-section of Weston leaders who are familiar with the school system, youth and high school athletics as well as town government. It was formed on the foundation that there would be many beneficiaries of this gift, starting with the youth and high school athletes and their parents, walkers, runners, and empty-nesters who want to stay connected to the schools and the town.
Many parents choose Weston to be part of a small close community, Carter said. Families tend to be active participants in their children’s education; coaching, teaching, rooting and volunteering, he said. After their kids graduate many tend to disengage with the schools and the town. The stadium can be another anchor to keep those empty-nesters connected, he said.
Kay Spencer, a parent of two football players and an active volunteer in Weston, remembers Friday night games from growing up.
“I love Friday night football games at our neighboring towns and would love for Weston to experience that environment and create those memories," Spencer said. "Friday night high school football games will bring the spirit and pride I remember to Weston and I believe will help fill the dangerous void on Friday nights for our teenagers.”
Several fundraising events are planned over the next several months to raise the $325,000 necessary to purchase and install the lights. The committee recently announced that the Weston Lacrosse Club-Paul Scheufele Endowment Fund has committed $80,000 to the project.
The goal is to have lights in by next September, in time to honor the 25th anniversary of the last Weston football team to make it to the state finals. Two committee members, Eric Albert, chairman of Parks and Rec, and Greg Slow played for that team.
To learn more about the project, contact Dawn Egan at email@example.com or Michael Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org.