Text of Paul Ivans' Speech at Shunpike Field Opening
In case you missed the event, hear what CAF President Ivans had to say about the long-awaited Shunpike Field Opening.
The following is the full text of Paul Ivans' speech at the opening of Shunpike Field on Oct. 1, 2011. Ivans is the president of the Chatham Athletic Foundation:
Wow, look around you today, at the fantastic athletic fields and this beautiful courtyard we’re all standing in…as friends, neighbors, coaches and elected officials, you should all be extremely proud to be part of such an amazing community that has accomplished such tremendous things to help the young athletes in Chatham.
As a Chatham resident for almost 20 years, a father of 2 young athletes in town, and a coach of hundreds of young athletes in Chatham over the years, I am tremendously proud and humbled by the efforts of our community in pulling together to help our local governments fund the redevelopment of this entire field complex, and make LIGHTS a reality!!!
Mayor Hagner touched on the positive impacts this field complex will have on the thousands of kids in town, and on behalf of the CAF trustees, we are honored to have been able to help. I just happen to be the CAF trustee with the microphone today, but all of the CAF trustees are amazing, caring people who have put in hundreds of hours over the last 4 years to help make this project a reality. I’d like to recognize and thank each and every trustee for their contributions:
- Mark Agostinelli,
- Vicky Anello,
- Bob Budlow,
- Ric Butler,
- Danny Clark,
- Dave Heflin,
- Bill Karpowic,
- Tom Mackessy,
- Jennifer Marshall,
- Brett Nichols,
- Donna Nickerson,
- Russ Pierce,
- Karl Schmidt,
- Tom Tether,
- and our past President and a founding trustee of CAF, Tom Winter.
But we really have so many OTHER people to thank for making this project a reality:
- All the people in Chatham who have supported CAF from the beginning, from making donations in the early days, to attending our fundraising galas, including 400 people who attended our highly successful gala a few weeks ago.
- I’d especially like to recognize our 2011 CAF Fundraising Gala Co-Chairs, who all put in a tremendous amount of effort to make the gala such a successful fundraising effort, and such a great party for all the attendees – Kristin Harrington, Jennifer Marshall and Amy Kaisand.
- The 600 individuals, families and businesses in town who purchased bricks in the beautiful courtyard to help fund the lights for Shunpike
- And special thanks as well to the extraordinarily generous people who purchased plaques for the benches and dugouts at the complex
- The Sports Clubs for their collaboration on this project, their ongoing support, and the very generous donations to CAF in support of the lights
- Chatham United Soccer
- Chatham Baseball Club
- Chatham Softball Club
- Chatham High School Athletic Boosters
- Cougar Lacrosse Club
- Our township and borough elected officials, especially Mayor Nicole Hagner for her support and guidance in making this entire field restoration project a reality;
- Tom Ciccarone, Carol Nauta, Tom Denning, Brian McNany and John Ruschke for all of their support with CAF’s fundraising efforts and in the construction of the beautiful courtyard;
- And a special thank you to a few people who were instrumental in making the brick campaign and this courtyard a reality
- Melissa Crouse for coming up with the “Brick Campaign” idea
- Andy & Jen Marshall for donating all of the bricks for the courtyard
- Steven Johnson of S Johnson Landscape Management for building such a beautiful courtyard
- The Farm – for donating the wonderful statue that serves as the centerpiece of the courtyard
- Tom Salvas for producing a wonderful video montage of this complex from the first shovel in the dirt to the last piece of sod put down on the ground.
- Peter Schwab and Eric Moody from the River Grille on River Road for donating all the great food for today’s event, and for their ongoing and generous support of CAF, and the young athletes in our community.
And lastly, to the original CAF Trustees, who in 2005 had the heart, drive and dream to create a 3-way partnership with the Borough and Township to fix these fields and to our current trustees for keeping the dream alive and moving it forward.
So, together with our local governments, and with the full support of the community, together…we have been able to turn this project from a small idea, to one of the most beautiful and helpful youth sports complexes in the State! We should all be proud of our community, our neighbors and especially our kids! PLAY BALL!