The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 1, 2014

A Don McCormack column: Let there be light

Efforts to raise funds for new illumination project are rolling

Knocking the snow off the variety store shutters...

Into the light

The “Light Up Laker Stadium” project appears to be very much off and running, thanks to a pair of successful fundraisers and some anonymous donations.

On Nov. 27, some alumni flag football games were contested at the stadium, featuring former players, coaches, cheerleaders, band members, flag girls, etc. to kick off the project.

According to column contributor Scott Wludyga, more than 60 (including “honorary” alumni, Ryan Shontz and Jerry King, current staffers) braved heavy snows and winds to participate in the event, with more than 200 showing up to shiver... and, oh yeah, support the brave-hearted participants and the project, as well.

According to Pymatuning Valley Athletic Boosters president Laurie Magyar Inman, $2,438.39 was raised through the game.

In addition, the flag football games spurred a pair of tremendous anonymous donations, in the form of $10,000 and $5,000.

Then, last Friday night, the first PVAB Dodgeball Tournament was held in the high school gymnasium, with more than 20 teams participating.

That event raised $1,462.00 toward the Light Up Laker Stadium Fund.

Earning first-place in the respective age divisions were:

Gold Pride — 5-8 Division

Mason Inman, Brent Knowles, Dillen Knowles, Cole Reynolds, Jonah Wilkerson and Noah Wilkerson.

Gym-Class Heroes — 9-12 Division

Nick Blascak, Olivia Holden, Mackenzie Inman, Kaleb Saxion, Chase Thurber and Ryan Wilkerson.

SCLS Mud Dogs — Adult division

Jacob Brown, Bryan Easton, Cody Ellis, Chase Thurber, Mac Thurber and Jon York.

Laker Stadium, which opened in time for the 1979 season, is still being illuminated by poles and lights from PV’s former gridiron home, located on Chestnut Street.

The poles, with the lights still attached, were moved via helicopter from the Chestnut Street located to Laker Stadium on Monday, Sept. 20, 1978.

Our research shows the lights at Laker Stadium have been in use since the fall of 1967.

PV officials estimate the cost for new lighting system for 35-year-old Laker Stadium is about $235,000.

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