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Norris Families Push Facilities Fund Past 100K Mark

Norris Families Push Facilities Fund Past 100K Mark

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Norris parents and patrons last week pushed the Titans facilities fund capital campaign to over $100,000 in cash contributions for the summer and fall 2014 drive.  “It is a tremendous credit to the generosity and commitment of our patrons and parents,” said Superintendent Dr. John Skretta.

For Norris students dreaming of playing on an artificial turf surface at Titans Stadium, marching band performers hoping for the day when they can practice routinely on the field, and track competitors longing for an opportunity to sprint down a new straightaway, the donor dollars fuel their dreams of Titans glory.  With $100,000 given, 150K is the remaining amount the district is targeting in additional donations between now and the end of 2014.

The district is targeting a 250K threshold for individual and corporate donations by December 31st. Once met, the Board of Education pledges to provide the necessary remaining district resources to enact construction on the next phase (turf and track) of the athletic facilities complex in Spring, 2015. The total project consists of artificial turf and track resurfacing, followed by baseball diamond and tennis courts on the current campus. The turf project is the next priority because of the volume of students served and diverse programs impacted.

At the fall Booster kick off event last Saturday, Superintendent Skretta announced a list of current Titans fund donors and thanked the Norris athletic boosters for their two substantial donations.

Legacy donors include Dennis and Carol Bornschlegl. Dennis commented, “Norris continually strives to provide the best facilities for their students. Donations to the Titans Facilities Fund help the school meet their commitment to students and make available to them the best tools to use toward their academic and athletic goals.” Bornschlegl and fellow Norris parent volunteer Doug Hunter have been spearheading volunteer outreach to parents and patrons, talking to potential donors.

Fellow legacy- level donors Tom and Jill Tetrick said supporting the field is a simple matter when parents consider the impact on so many students: “We  thought about just how many kids it would impact favorably.  The number is nearly 1,000 per year for the Field Turf project alone.  We decided that if we wanted to do something that could reach the most kids, that could make the students, parents, and everyone involved with Norris School District proud, and that could help save even one athlete from a serious injury, giving to the Facilities Fund was a great way to do so.  Every donation is meaningful, and we intend to give every year for as long as we can.”

Other legacy donors include board members Craig Gana (with wife Lori) and Jim Kruger (and wife Becky), and Joey and Rebecca Hausmann. Kruger commented that "The Norris Titans Facilities Fund drive will support the most significant activities facilities project in the fifty year history of Norris.  We need the support of everyone in the District to ensure the project can be launched to provide excellent facilities for current and future students at Norris." Hausmann, a Norris parent who is also a volunteer football coach with the Screaming Eagles youth program, indicated that the advantages of turf field at Norris “Would benefit so many programs from youth soccer to club football to the competitive high school sports, not to mention PE classes, that it is an easy decision to donate because of the positive effect this project will have on students.”

Norris parents John and Michelle Walsh are also among those who donated, and Dr. Walsh, a pediatrician, said When Doug Hunter approached us about donating to the Facilities Fund, we were more than happy to contribute.  We feel Norris has been giving our children a great education all of these years and donating back would be appropriate.  Additionally, as a pediatrician, I would like to help prevent injuries for all of those students who will be playing sports on the new turf field.  Obviously academics come first, but promoting healthy activities in our children is also very important.”

Norris football coach Jim Jacobson has studied the issue extensively and believes the safety benefits of artificial turf are substantial. “The coaches of the football and soccer programs have all emphasized the surface playability and increased volume of use tolerated by an artificial turf competition field,” he said. “It would be a tremendous benefit to our students.” Athletic Director Greg Hardin pointed out that Norris is falling behind its Class B cohorts, half of whom now play their football and soccer contests on artificial turf.”

Background: The Norris Titans Facilities Fund was started over a year ago, and substantial donations from the Lakeview Care Center and Steve Kielian with Kielian Construction as well as Hausmann Construction allowed for the completion of a much – expanded strength training facility in the northeast area of the high school. Assistant Superintendent Brian Maschmann said, "The fund drive has already been a success in accomplishing the weight room project, and the district will have the opportunity to do even more as additional donors come forward.

Whether the dream comes true or is a dream deferred will depend on how long is required for donors to accrue another 150 K. “We have something very special here,” Tom Tetrick shared. “Our facilities should reflect that same dedication to the well-being of all students.  We honestly felt that giving to this project, which will impact so many students, athletes and parents in such a positive way, was something the district richly deserved from us.”

See titansfacilitiesfund.com for additional information or to make a donation. Donor lists are updated weekly at http://titansfacilitiesfund.com/whosMaking.html