A new artificial turf field at Westlake High School is a little closer to reality after recent donations and a successful fundraiser attended by more than 350 people, have added more than $125,000 to the fund. The Westlake Athletic Demon Foundation (WADF) is leading the effort to replace the field.
“Got Turf?” a large banner at the March 16 Demon Green Bash held at the St. Demetrios Cultural Center in Rocky River. asked.
“More than 352 people came,” WADF chair Craig Catanzarite said. “We raised $22,000 right there.
“Everybody raved about it and had a lot of fun.”
He expected to make the bash an annual fund regardless of whether the goal is reached.
The bash has not been the only source of funds. In the past month three major donors have stepped up to contribute.
Westlake-based Nordson donated $50,000. Dr. Nelson Dvora of Nelson Vein & Surgical Services has committed to donating $25,000.
Resident Matt Hlavin made a personal donation of $25,000. Hlavin is a 1993 graduate of WHS and the owner of Rapid Prototype + Manufacturing (rp+m).
“We still have a long way to go, but it’s picking up a little steam,” Catanzarite said. “There was a lot of excitement Saturday night.
The funds will be added to the already-raised $170,000.
The existing sports field at the high school is in poor shape, primarily due to weather conditions typical of the Cleveland area. Muddy fields lead to limited use of the field, which does not respond well to normal usage or wet conditions. As a result, field use is limited to 40 days per year and requires constant maintenance.
“Ultimately we’d like to reach about $650,000,” Catanzarite told Patch earlier this year.
A turf field will allow continuous daily usage throughout the year. In addition to football and lacrosse and other sporting events the stadium and field are used by for the high schools gym classes, band, cheerleading programs and performances.
Catanzite said the school district has already agreed to put in a new scoreboard and redo the track at the same time the turf in installed.
A timeline hasn’t been set as to when they expect to raise the money, but the sooner the better.
A new field means the stadium will be available for youth football, soccer and baseball practice, elementary school field days, community events and more.
Read more on the project and potential savings here.