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Committee seeks lights for Weston's stadium field


What does Friday Night Lights mean to a community? To a driven 30-person committee, it means an inexpensive family night, a central gathering place where all Wesonites may go to watch football, soccer and lacrosse and a place to safely jog and walk.
The Weston Lights Committee is seeking the installation of lights at the Weston High School stadium field, similar to those at Staples High in Westport (pictured).  The committee hopes to have the lights up by next fall.
 
The Weston Lights Committee is seeking the installation of lights at the Weston High School stadium field, similar to those at Staples High in Westport (pictured). The committee hopes to have the lights up by next fall.

This group, named the Weston Lights Committee, was formed to plan and fund the installation of state-of-the-art lights on the high school stadium field that will be 100% privately funded at no cost to Weston residents.

The project took shape this past summer under the direction of Michael Carter, head of the Weston Sports Commission, and was formally presented to the Board of Education’s facilities committee in October. Since then, the board has held several meetings discussing the merits of the project and ensuring the school remains a good neighbor in the process.

 "The schools are Weston’s community center, the place to celebrate and gather for July fourth fireworks, Memorial Day parade, Relay for Life, Special Olympics and comfort stations after hurricanes,” said Carter. “The hope of the committee is that stadium events will be regular community events. The more this idea takes shape as we talk to our neighbors, the more I see it as a social gathering place, bringing many Westonites together.”

The committee was created by a cross-section of Weston leaders who are familiar with the school system, youth and high school athletics as well as town government. It was formed on the foundation that there would be many beneficiaries of this gift, starting with the youth and high school athletes and their parents, walkers, runners, and empty nesters who want to stay connected to the schools and the town.

Kay Spencer, a parent of two football players and an active volunteer in Weston, remembers Friday night games from growing up, “I love Friday night football games at our neighboring towns and would love for Weston to experience that environment and create those memories. Friday night high school football games will bring the spirit and pride I remember to Weston and I believe will help fill the dangerous void on Friday nights for our teenagers.”

Dawn Egan, past-president of Boosters said the number one request from athletes and their parents was lights for night games. “Everyone always talks about the fact that we invested so much money to provide a great stadium facility but we never finished the project. With a new generation of parents and donors, I know there is high interest, but now we have to see if there is a financial commitment.”

Several fund raising events are planned over the next several months to raise the $325,000 necessary to purchase and install the lights. The committee is pleased to announce that the Weston Lacrosse Club -Paul Scheufele Endowment Fund has committed $80,000 to the project.

The goal is to have lights in by next September, in time to honor the 25th anniversary of the last Weston football team to make it to the state finals. Two committee members, Eric Albert, chairman of Parks and Recreation, and Gregg Slow played for that team.

"Twenty-five years ago our football team did something no one believed we could do- we went to the State championship,” said Albert. “This September, many of my teammates plan on reuniting in Weston to relive those memories. They have jumped at the opportunity to donate as they appreciate how that season has shaped us as adults. It would be amazingly rewarding for future generations of Weston kids and their families to experience the excitement of Friday night lights games which will definitely elevate the sports programs and town spirit.”

Anyone interested in learning more about this project can contact Egan at  or Carter at   .