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On Sunday, Oct. 8, at noon, Port Washington Youth Activities will hold a "Founders Day" event to recognize and honor those donors who provided the initial funding for the redevelopment of the new Lions' Field complex, home to PYA's outdoor sports activities.

The rededication of Lions' Field occurred just four years ago and was the culmination of a reconstruction effort started in 1999. The planning for the field was put into place in the mid-1990s by the PYA Board, the effort of which at that point was led by then-president Jim Cosolito (still a director), field committee members Chris Avazis, Brian Calenda, and Steve Sholder, Executive Director Ron Henderson, and key fundraising spearheaded by Directors Jim Kallenberg, Tom McNamara, and Joe Gil.

Through a total team effort by the entire board, the "seed money" in the form of private donations and public grants enabled the nearly $1 million project to be completed without the use of local taxpayer funds.

These efforts turned a hardened dirt lot, overgrown with weeds into a modern, state-of-the-art field complex that now accommodates multiple sports for the youth in our town. Prior to the redevelopment efforts, PYA and its predecessor organizations had been using the fields for more than 40 years, through the community-oriented efforts of the Port Washington Sewer District and Lions Club. In addition to their institutional cooperation, "Field of Dreams" became a reality due in large part to the generous support from the cash contributions early in the planning process.

As an expression of its appreciation, PYA invites the community to its Founders' Day ceremony on Oct. 8 (rain date, Oct. 15). At the ceremony, the formal acknowledgement of this initial support will take place with the unveiling of monuments and donor listings in a new "Founders' Park." Food and refreshments will be available for a nominal fee to benefit PYA and the continuing maintenance of Lions' Field.


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