Group raises $1 million toward upgrading athletic facilities at James Buchanan High School

January 29, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Members of the Mercersburg, Pa., community and Fix JB Sports celebrate the $1 million milestone Thursday night during a wrestling match at James Buchanan High School. Pictured from left, are: Mercersburg Mayor Jim Zeger, Campaign Chairs Carrie Heckman and John Stoner, Pat Reeder, Marianne Quinn, Chairman Tim Witter, Mark Heckman, Honorary Chairman Bob Hoffman and Campaign Chairman Dane Anthony.
Submitted photo

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — Three years ago, a group of “just regular folks” sat down to talk about upgrading athletic facilities at James Buchanan High School.

Last week, those same people announced they have reached $1 million in donations and pledges toward their goal.

“We didn’t know what to expect when we started. We’re just regular folks,” said Marianne Quinn, a parent and active member of Fix JB Sports.

Quinn joined others from the organization, which is part of the nonprofit James Buchanan Athletic Boosters Association, in announcing the $1 million milestone at a wrestling match.

“We’re really incredibly grateful and blessed,” she said.
Fix JB Sports has rebuilt the track and upgraded the locker rooms for those using the swimming pool. The new track surface allowed the Tuscarora School District to host its first home track meet in 12 years.

This summer, Fix JB Sports and the school district will finish improvements to the tennis courts.

Fix JB Sports’ overall fundraising goal is $1.965 million to address facilities needs.

Athletic Director Larry Strawoet said he continues to be impressed by “the power of community” and efforts of Fix JB Sports.

“In the economy we’re in and continue to be in, and being in a a small community with a tax base with few businesses, they’ve sent a loud message for what a lot of hard work and dedication can do,” Strawoet said.

Quinn said she always knew the Mercersburg community would step up with contributions for the projects.

“We are just past the halfway point, and we’re going to continue,” she said.

Fix JB Sports also wants to tackle a parking lot to accommodate about 100 spaces behind the football stadium bleachers, a synthetic turf field and a building to contain a new restroom/concession stand/ticket booth under the same roof inside the stadium.

Officials established naming opportunities for benefactors. Those opportunities vary from $5,000 for a row of bleachers to $300,000 for the stadium complex.

Students take pride in what has been accomplished, Strawoet said.

“I see them taking care of the facility and seeing that (other) kids are taking care of it,” he said.

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