Dear Westport Baseball and Softball Families, Friends, and Alumni,
Westport Baseball and Softball, and the programs it offers -- Little League, Travel, Challenger, Babe Ruth, and American Legion -- have been a bedrock part of the community since the early 1950s. As the longest running volunteer youth sports program in Westport, Little League participants like coaches, administrators, umpires, and parents have dedicated literally hundreds of thousands of hours of their time over the years so that our players – our children – can learn, develop, grow, engage, and have fun through the sport of baseball.
Today we are asking everyone – both families currently in the program that are building, and former families that hold, many cherished memories close to their hearts – to give back just a little more as we get set for amazing new renovations at some of our facilities. To complete these projects, we need your help through donations. We cannot get it done without you! Our goal is for 100% PARTICIPATION from all of you at whatever level you can give.
Our first project is a major transformation of the Burr Farms West field. Our goal is to turn this field into a premier convertible 46/70 - 50/70 field with a new grass infield and pitcher’s mound, new irrigation system, and a portable fence attached to the existing one in left field. If you have a long memory, originally this was a “Pony League Field” used by 13-year olds as they transitioned to a full-size field. The original mound and grass infield were never irrigated, and we eventually had to switch to an all-dirt infield because of difficulties funding its maintenance.
In the last few years we have experienced a larger demand from more age groups for play on a field with these dimensions. It would accommodate many Westport players ages 9 through 13 who play Little League Intermediate 50/70 Baseball, our fastest growing program, and Westport Youth Travel Baseball. At Burr Farms, we want to provide the same quality physical setting that we do at the Mary Ellen White Town Farms complex on Compo North. Importantly, the Town is partnering with us on this project. They will supervise all the construction and provide the sod and labor to install in the infield. Our responsibility will be to provide the connectivity to the water supply, any electrical work, and the irrigation system itself. The Town will also be responsible for future maintenance. The cost of this initial investment to us is estimated to be ~$50,000. We hope to have adequate additional funds to purchase the portable fencing as well. We hope to complete this project by this upcoming spring; May 1st, 2020 would be the goal.
Improvements at our Main Little League Complex -- Mary Ellen White Town Farms on Compo North
We also want to share with you a bigger plan of upgrading the Town Farms complex on Compo North. This is our main Little League baseball and softball hub.
As you may or may not be aware, Westport Baseball and Softball is financially responsible for the care and maintenance of these four fields and the three Coleytown fields. We spend approximately $130,000 per season to fund this work. Contingent on the success of our fundraising effort, we seek to pursue the following projects:
New, permanent bathrooms and concession building -- a major upgrade from the current portable bathroom situation
New dugouts and press boxes for all four fields at the complex. While our fields at Town Farm are in excellent condition, the dugouts and press boxes could use an upgrade
Explore alternative surfaces to reduce the impact of weather on our use
Explore the cost and feasibility of adding an indoor complex for training
For families currently participating in any of Westport's baseball and softball programs, your donations would directly benefit your children for many years to come! For families that have already graduated from Westport's baseball and softball programs, your contributions would help future generations experience the best that Westport Baseball and Softball has to offer.
Amounts received beyond what is necessary for the Burr Farms project will allow us to start planning, including drawing up architectural plans, for the more ambitious Mary Ellen White Town Farms fields projects discussed above.
As a volunteer organization, you should know that 100% of your donation goes to funding these renovations. And as a 501(c)(3) organization, donations are fully tax deductible.
Again, we’re hoping for 100% participation to get this done!