DENVILLE, NJ-- On a beautiful night in July, Veteran's Memorial Field was a sight to be seen. As members of the public, local government, and sports teams came together, the ribbon was cut on the new turf field. Kids and parents alike joined in for the festivites.
After a rousing rendition of The Star Spangled Banner was performed by Marissa Forte and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by former Denville Mayor Gene Feyl, Reverend Huffman of the New Hope Community Church in Denville gave the special evening a prayer invocation.
"Let this field be blessed to grow our community. Let this field be blessed for fun for our community," Huffman said.
Denville fourth ward councilman, Don Kuser, took the emcee duties and invited members from every sport team onto the turf. Many sports were represented by coaching staff including Denville Hub Soccer, Denville Blue Angels football, Denville PAL Cheerleading, Denville Softball, Denville Dawgs Rugby, Denville Baseball, and Denville-Rockaway Lacrosse.
In addition to the coaches from all different Denville teams, Mayor Andes, Business Administrator Steven Ward, Denville Schools Superintendent Steven Forte, Recreation Department Director Don Bogardus, the VFW, the American Legion and Councilmen Scollans, Fitzpatrick, and Gabel were also on hand to help open the field with a bang.
Before the big ribbon was cut, Councilman Kuser gave the floor to Mayor Tom Andes to say a few special words about the new, long awaited complex at Veteran's Field.
"When I ran for mayor in 2011, one of my platforms was to build the long desired field expansion here at Veteran's Field. However, I took office just four months after Hurricane Irene devestated our community. Public safety, flood mitigation, and our local economy took precedent," Andes told the crowd.
The project was funded completely through a special trust fund that was established for recreation use. The Open Space and Recreation Trust fund was put on a ballot referendum and the people of Denville were overwhemlingly supportive. The fund was designed to purchase, maintain, and develop local open spaces within the township of Denville.
As Kuser took the microphone for the last time during the evening, he invited many of the Veterans who also double as coaches in the community to come out onto the turf field for an honorable punt, toss, kick, and throw to fully initiate the field at the complex.
"We are all very proud of our new field and upgraded facility. We are just as proud to call it Veteran's Memorial Field, in honor of our servicemen and servicewomen," Andes said as he watched the festivites unfold.
The new turf field is available for all the sports in town. The field is also in the same complex as the Denville Happy Hounds Dog Park. As the kids in town were itching to get on the field after the big ribbon cutting, frisbees ( donated by St. Francis Residential Community ) were given out and the turf field was broken in the perfect way; by playing and running around.
The field will officially open in August and will be a welcomed new addition for sports teams for generations to come.