Field of Dreams becomes reality- Celebration planned for new field next weekend

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

The Clare High School Marching Band practices on the new Brookwood field turf.

The Clare High School Marching Band practices on the new Brookwood field turf.

After just over six months of fundraising and hard work by the Pioneers Are Leaders committee and many community members, the Brookwood 2.0 Phase One is nearly complete.

To install artificial turf, the committee and community raised over $700,000 and have even raised funds for additional bleachers for the field. “No community our size has ever raised this kind of money in such a short time,” Committee member and contributor Darryl Gariglio said.

To celebrate the event, a special event is planned for Saturday, August 17 from 12:30 to 7:00 p.m.

The Brookwood Field Induction Celebration will feature a special guest – NFL great Bill Bates, who is the epitome of adversity, long odds, and an inspiration for others. He played 15 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys and tied their franchise record for most seasons played. He has won three Super Bowls, changed special teams forever and was an All-Pro and Pro-Bowl player for the Cowboys. He has also coached in the NFL with the Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Bill will be at the event to do some coaching, meet the community pose for photos and give autographs.

The full-day celebration, held at Brookwood’s new football field, will include a Green & White Football Scrimmage at 12:30 p.m.; autographs and pictures with Bill Bates from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m.; an alumni soccer game at 3:00 p.m.; ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:45 p.m.; and dinner (cost $10 per person or $30 per family) catered by Clare Dairy Phil at 5:00 p.m. Bill Bates will also draw the winner for the Las Vegas trip at 5 p.m.

Pioneers are Leaders Committee Chair John Punches summed it all up. “Phase one of the Brookwood 2.0 project by Pioneers are Leaders will be completed by August 17th.  This includes the new field turf playing field, new visitor bleachers and pad, new long jump pit for track and funding for resurfacing of the track which will take place in the summer of 2014.  This is a great accomplishment for the community of Clare; one that many said couldn’t be done.  This will allow our kids to play on a great facility for years to come.  This project has the same community spirit as Clare had when the complex was first built back in the 1970’s.  All the funds were raised by the community and no tax dollars were used.  This was a great team effort by many people and organizations and Clare should be proud.  Our expectations were high for the field but it is even better than anticipated. Please come and join our celebration.”

He continued, “But Pioneers are Leaders and Brookwood 2.0 still has goals they want to accomplish in 2014 (Phase 2), building archways as you enter the complex to honor the donors and also to give Brookwood a better overall look as you enter.   Also included in Phase 2 will be paving the parking lot to the east of the playing field which will allow for more parking for the new field and for softball and baseball. ”

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