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Stadium 'kickoff' event planned for North High stadium

September 28, 2004

Organizers of the planned new multiuse stadium project for North Hagerstown High School have announced that a campaign "kick-off" event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The 6 p.m. event will take place at Tony's New York Pizza and Italian Restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue.

According to fund-raising campaign honorary chairman Jim Brown, "This is an exciting event for our entire community. For the past 46 years, there has been only one stadium shared by both Hagerstown high schools. We are moving towards making available to the entire community a terrific new outdoor stadium facility." Brown said that the project already has received significant financial and in-kind donations, "We are announcing our architectural team, and also will be announcing our donations to date."

The project is a $2.3-million private effort, that has been endorsed by Washington County Public Schools. According to Stadium Committee Chairman John Williamson, "This private funding of a public facility is a unique project for the state of Maryland since virtually all high schools had stadiums included when the schools were originally built." Williamson said that the project will help the entire community.

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"Currently there are more than 71 events that take place at the stadium at South Hagerstown High School, not including the huge number of various team and event practices. The new Mike Callas Stadium will benefit all of Washington County, and make every school have an easier and more efficient athletic schedule, while presenting new venue opportunities for community events and activities."

The Campaign Leadership Committee includes business and community leaders from throughout Washington County, and the fund-raising effort has already garnered wide support. According to campaign co-chair Rick Toms, "We actually are just beginning to solicit donations from businesses and individuals, and we are extremely pleased at the great response we've had so far." Organizers confidently anticipate more than $1 million of in-kind donations.

At the kickoff event, a new Web site and campaign brochure will be unveiled, as well as architectural renderings of the planned multiuse facility. The stadium committee, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is not only contacting all North Hagers-town High School alumni, but also partnering with businesses from throughout the county. Williamson said, "It's important that we communicate just how important this project is, how important this new stadium will be for our entire community, and how we have a unique opportunity right now to move this project forward."

The Oct. 6 event will additionally include several speakers, and the introduction of the stadium committee and campaign committee's leadership team.

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