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Martinsburgopoly games selling at brisk pace

December 23, 2004|b y CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Visitors to Martinsburg High School's Cobourn Field might reasonably assume that the aluminum, enclosed bleachers on the east side of the football field are for the home fans, and the wooden ones covered in chipped paint on the west side are for fans of the visiting team.

They would be wrong.

School officials are hoping to replace the home side bleachers and are counting on using proceeds raised by sales of "Martinsburgopoly," a localized version of the popular board game.

About half of the 2,000 games ordered have been sold.

"Everybody loves the game. It was put together really nicely," said Karen Sumner, head of the Cobourn Field Improvement Committee.

Martinsburg High School principal Ken Pack said proceeds from the fund-raiser should bring in around $50,000 - one-fourth of the estimated $200,000 needed to replace the bleachers.

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Installing enclosed aluminum bleachers like those for visiting fans will be one of many improvements made to the field.

Around 10 years ago, a new concession stand and set of bathrooms were built. After that, a storage building that houses equipment such as a mower and track hurdles was improved.

Construction on a two-level press box that overlooks the home bleachers is nearly finished, Pack said.

Once all of the Martinsburgopoly games have been sold, another fund-raiser will be started to raise more money. One possibility is to pair with the county's two other high schools on a fund-raising project and split the proceeds, Pack said.

Pack said he hopes to have new bleachers in place in three or four years.

Responses to the game have been positive, said Pack, who has one and gave additional ones as gifts.

"The businesses really jumped on this. We didn't have any trouble selling the spots," Pack said.

Players who pass go in Martinsburgopoly will pass property squares sponsored by local businesses. Local car dealerships have replaced railroads, while a local oil company and water treatment business are the utilities.

Instead of going to jail, players land "In Court," a corner square sponsored by an attorney.

The game's colorful money features the logo of a local bank.

The center of the game board and the box feature line drawings of Martinsburg landmarks, including the Roundhouse, Market House and Berkeley County Courthouse.

"It's really been a unique Christmas gift idea," Pack said.

Martinsburg Mayor George Karos said the games have been selling well at Patterson's, his drug store on Queen Street.

"I think this may be the third batch they've brought down," Karos said, motioning toward one on display.

Each game costs $25.

Games also are available at the high school, BB&T, Girl Scouts of Shawnee Council's office, R. Lewis Clothier and CentraBank's Foxcroft Avenue office.

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