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Letter: Rocky’s Field Slides Home: Ribbon Cutting April 25

Less than a year ago, members of the Manhasset girls softball community committed themselves to raising the money necessary to build a new state-of-the-art synthetic-turf softball field at Manhasset Secondary School. The impetus for that commitment was to honor the memory of Rocky Pacent who lost his battle with cancer last March. Rocky was the Manhasset PAL Director of girls travel softball and he spent many years building the girls program from the ground up into the highly competitive scholastic and recreational teams we field today.

The recent success of the programs include the varsity team’s first-ever Nassau County playoff appearance and one of the PAL teams winning its first-ever girls regional championship. Due to the efforts of his family and friends, the field has been largely completed, with the exception of minor work that will be completed prior to the beginning of the scholastic season.

Last June, in spite of a miserable economic climate, a significant number of Rocky’s family and friends and community residents contributed and pledged a significant amount of money toward the field in the “Balloons Over Manhasset” non-event fundraiser. The high school booster club and the PJ Furlong Foundation generously supported the project by donating additional funds. Manhasset PAL has committed to the construction of a scoreboard to complete the field, as well as offering additional support.

Representatives of the project had numerous meetings with the Manhasset Board of Education, district superintendent, athletic director and other staff members, throughout the process and were encouraged to continue the plans to successful completion. Our thanks to everyone at the district for their continuing support and guidance.

During the process, taking into account community feedback, manufacturers were solicited with health concerns in mind. The field has been tested and the manufacturer has certified that the field and synthetic fill significantly surpass State and national standards. In addition, hose bibs were installed on each side of the field to be used if watering down and “cooling off” of the field becomes necessary during extreme heat conditions. The school and the PAL have requirements governing play during extreme heat, and play on any field will be stopped if the heat index rises beyond the guidelines set by the State.

Though you can visit the completed field now, the official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is currently scheduled for April 25. This will be a day of softball! The day will consist of team pictures and clinics for all the girls. More details of this event will follow.

Again, thank you to all family, friends and members of the Manhasset community for making this commitment a reality.

Rocky Pacent Softball Fund