The Examiner

Chappaqua Committee Raises Banner Plan to Help Turf Field Project

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In an effort to reinvigorate its fundraising effort, The Chappaqua Turf Committee (TCTC) wants to start a campaign that would hang decorative banners throughout New Castle.

Steffi Green was one of five committee members on hand to make the pitch to the New Castle Town Board on March 19 seeking permission to hang the flags around town.

Green, who mentioned that the committee got the idea from a similar initiative in Harrison, said the effort would hopefully jumpstart the stalled fundraising efforts to help pay for a new turf field and lights at Horace Greeley High School while contributing to community spirit. The committee has raised $715,000 of the roughly $1 million needed for the new playing surface and would also like to pitch in another $325,000 for the lights.

Green said she was “emotionally struck” by the Harrison banners that hang from streetlights during the football season.

“It was really inspiring to drive under all those banners,” Green said to the board.

Banners in New Castle would have personalized messages focusing on athletics, scholastics, extracurricular activities or accomplishments. The colors would most likely be Horace Greeley High School’s blue and orange and include the Greeley mascot.

“It is our hope that this initiative becomes an annual program and one that generates excitement about the turf and recreational field,” a memo from the committee stated.

The flags would hang on routes120 and 117 and would last for the duration of the school year. Committee members said they would like to sell the banners as soon as possible if they received approval.

Although the committee is uncertain about what it would charge, Green mentioned it might be more than the $225 in Harrison. The cost to make each banner is $110, plus an additional $30 is needed for the brackets.

Another committee member, Mara Weissman, said new ideas are needed because the fundraising effort for the new turf field has hit a wall. By getting the green light to start selling and hanging banners, TCTC hopes to see the campaign reignited.

The Harrison effort to sell banners brought in about $16,000, which TCTC members said they hope to at least match.

Other initiatives have also been developed recently by the TCTC in order to reach its goal. That includes a community-wide event in June, where Chappaqua residents and former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton would be invited to serve as honorees, and an athletic fundraising event, in which all student-athletes are invited to participate.

Pertaining to the banner proposal, Green said Harrison residents and officials involved in the campaign have both been satisfied with what that effort has brought to the town.

Still, town board members raised questions about the proposal. Town officials mentioned that hanging banners on state roads would require TCTC to address the matter with the state Department of Transportation before it could get clearance from the town. Both Route 117 and Route 120 are state roads.

There could also be potential concerns from local merchants and the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce.







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