Soon, there will be light
By John J. Tassoni, Jr.
If you’ve been by Whipple Field recently, you’ve probably noticed that the plan to install lights around the exterior of the complex is well underway.
This means that when the sun sets, five fields – three softball and two baseball – will be illuminated for after-dark games.
With increased lighting, sports teams can schedule more games throughout the season, and young people who are normally glued to their electronic devices, will now be able to go outdoors and enjoy more physical activities.
As a member of the Tri-Town Juvenile Hearing Board, I witness the results of young people who are bored and do not get enough fresh air and physical activity. They get into trouble by committing criminal acts and other wrongdoings that could land them in jail.
This lighting project is no small feat. But thanks to the town leaders who last Fall approved the cost of lights, poles and other supplies to come from the town’s impact fee account – which will amount to an estimated $125,000 – and some of the local unions and businesses in the area, along with volunteers, the lights will be ready to shine brightly for the next season of baseball and softball.
Along with Council President Bernard Hawkins and the Town Council for their foresight in seeing the many benefits of this project, here are the organizations that deserve a very special THANK YOU from Smithfield residents for their time, expertise and assistance that has saved the town an estimated $30,000.
Local 99, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Local 57, International Union of Operating Engineers
Smithfield Peat Company
Smithfield DPW and Recreation Dept. workers
The volunteers who are assisting with unloading equipment, excavation and borings, installations and other associated tasks.
Their civic-mindedness is what is bringing this project to fruition.
Additional donations are still being sought so the town could realize even more savings as this project continues. Call the Town Manager if you wish to help 401-233-1079.
It has long been thought that sporting activities play a positive role in youth development, exemplifying teamwork, the leadership qualities of coaches and captains, and building self-esteem and strong socialization skills, which translate in lifelong skills. The Whipple Field lighting project is also a prime example of what can be achieved when people work together. Good things happen!