Kiwanis gets funds for field improvement

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CLINTON — The Paul J. Weimer Field in Kiwanis Memorial Park at 24 Beatty Ave. in the Village of Clinton has undergone long awaited improvements the last four weeks thanks to nearly $25,000 in community contributions to Clinton Kiwanis, including one very significant donation from a single donor.

“As a condition of the donation, the donors have requested anonymity,” said Karen Ostinett, president of the Kiwanis Club of Clinton.

However, Ostinett said that one donation equaled 84% of all monies donated to date.

Henry Schweitzer, American Youth Soccer Organization regional commissioner for Clinton is acting as agent for Kiwanis with the contractors and said he is very happy with the progress of the work so far, and hopes to have an official ribbon cutting soon.

“Kiwanis park has been around for a number of decades,” Schweitzer said. “The soccer field especially has really never been given any updates to it. The last 15-20 years, that soccer field has looked exactly how it looks today. We really just want to improve the field conditions and add to the field that is currently there.”

Schweitzer was even more specific about what he wants for the park.

“We want to make the park stand out and update the soccer area,” he added. “By installing a fence around the soccer field, spectator seating, more parking for all that use the park, that is what we hope to accomplish. We want these youth soccer players to come to a field and be proud to play there. Right now, that field is run down and needs a lot of TLC. With these improvements, these two fields will be here and in great condition for the next 15-20 years.

Schweitzer was also specific about what he wanted for AYSO and the children who play soccer in the Village of Clinton.

“As regional commissioner, I always told myself that we need to make a change so this program can continue to succeed,” he explained. “Clinton AYSO continues to develop and deliver quality youth soccer programs which promote a fun, safe, family environment, where children can grow and develop not only their soccer skills, but their leadership and social skills for life. Without change, things get run down and outdated.”

Peck Property Maintenance LLC has been contracted to make renovations to the park. Peck broke ground on July 15 and finished on August 2. During the two weeks Peck completed the following.

*The parking lot has been smoothed over and filled with crushed stone.

* Stripped top soil for additional parking.

* The field itself has had the low areas filled in, as well as seeded and graded.

* The trees and brush have been cut back and cleared.

*The area will be seeded and mulched as needed.

“It took us just over two weeks to get everything done,” Schweitzer said. “Currently we are waiting on the grass to grow and then fix up a couple small areas before it gets played on.”

In addition to the field and the parking lot renovations, a number of new amenities have also been purchased. A new 10-by-12 foot equipment shed from Catskill Shed Co. now sits between the baseball and soccer field. Also, the new field has two new sets of aluminum Low-rise bleachers and two player benches.

“The bleachers and player benches are being put together by our AYSO coaches,” Schweitzer said.

The regional commissioner said he was grateful to the people who contributed the money to make this possible.

“ I really can’t thank those people enough,” Schweitzer said. “They worked with us on providing the funds that were needed to make this soccer field complete. It takes a special group of people to make something like this happen.”

To keep the soccer balls from rolling into the parking lot, a new chain-link fence is also on the way. And a new sign as well.

“The fence will be put up in the next week or so once the grass has grown in, “Schweitzer added. “We also have a brand new sign which is 8ft wide by 4ft high that we will be installing in the next couple of weeks after the fence is complete.”

Ostinette said there’s a couple more people to thank.

“If not for the article in the paper, I’m not sure this would have happened,” she said. “Word of mouth too...but the article definitely called attention to our situation and people I talked to said they saw it in the paper.

Clinton Baseball Commissioner and Kiwanis Club of Clinton Treasurer, Paul Frey had similar sentiments.

“Because of the article you all published we had an outpouring of support and donations,” Frey said during a telephone call. “Thank you so much, this is going to happen now.”

Schweitzer said what’s good for the park is good for the kids and by extension good for the community.

“The more we improve this park, the better this is for the organization and the entire community will benefit from it,” he said.” In the end, it comes down to having a nice park for youth soccer players to be outside enjoying playing soccer. We owe it to the kids to improve on what we currently have and make it last for another 15-20 years.

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