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Stadium effort growing

Groups step forward for North High fund-raising goal

Groups step forward for North High fund-raising goal

November 15, 2004

Organizers of the planned new multiuse stadium project for North Hagerstown High School have announced that fund- raising is gaining momentum. Several groups have stepped forward, as have businesses, to contribute to the new stadium campaign.

According to stadium committee chairman John Williamson, "several alumni groups have come forward and made donations for the stadium project. In fact, some of the recent donations include seniors of the North Hagerstown High School Class of 2004 donating $2,004. Additionally, the North Hagerstown High School Choral Boosters held their Homecoming Concert, and donated the proceeds to the fund-raising effort. More than $400 was raised for the stadium project at that one event." Williamson said that 'grass-roots' support is important. Several alumni classes are involved, and have issued challenges to their class members.

Public service announcements and personal appeals have created interest in the project. Williamson said, "We have had businesses step forward, and ask: 'how do we become involved?' This is exciting for this project, because we need support, including the support of the business community. The Waffle House chain, locally owned by Darrell Fowler, approached us and is now selling Waffle House key fobs, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the stadium fund-raising campaign."

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Direct mailings, phone calls, and meetings are helping the stadium fund-raising project move forward. Alumni, community leaders, and business owners are being contacted.

According to Jim Brown, Mike Callas Stadium at North Hagerstown High School honorary chairman, "We're looking for help from throughout the community. We have posted a new Web site, which has a great deal of information, including explaining why this stadium project is moving forward. 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. "The Web site details naming opportunities, and also it has information about the project."

The new stadium project is a $2.3-million private effort that has been endorsed by Washington County Public Schools. According to 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. 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 stadium committee is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

For more information about the project, go to www.mikecallasstadium.com on the Internet.

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