COLTS NECK: There's a new turf field in town and it's the result of teamwork at its best. Success like this is what happens when adults come together for non-political reasons and do what they believe is best for the children in their community.
On Saturday November 3rd, TAPinto was on site to witness the official ribbon cutting of the new Multipurpose Turf Field at Five Point Park in Colts Neck. The genesis of this accomplishment is a family deeply rooted in the town, with a love for community and local sports. The family is the Thecker family, who generously donated $580,000 towards the turf field in memory of the late Duncan Thecker, a larger than life pillar in the community, who passed in 2010 at age 95.
The Thecker family in Duncan's memory donated the money to the town specifically to enhance the recreation and sports amenities for the children in Colts Neck. The concept details and action to make it happen were orchestrated by former Mayor and current committeeman Russell Macnow who took the ball and ran with it, never dropping it and carrying it successfully over the goal line.
Mayor JP Bartolomeo commented, "This is an example of what I truly love about Colts Neck. When there is a project that is great for our community, we come together like a family and make it happen. Today is not about politics, this is about the families and taxpayers in Colts Neck and a team coming together to do what is best for everyone. This project began with the generous donation from the Thecker family. In 2016 the former Mayor, our current Committeeman Russell Macnow developed a plan with the support of the township committee. The taxpayers, recreation and the sports foundation, along with an ad hoc committee all joined forces in a joint effort of support. We are now standing on a field that the children and families of Colts Neck deserve."
In a 'promises made, promises kept' fashion, Bartolomeo when being sworn in as Mayor in January of 2018, promised to see the project plans through to fruition by the end of his year as mayor. Beating the deadline he set for himself, the new multi-purpose turf field is now being used by the families in Colts Neck. The town of Colts Neck matched the Thecker donation to make the field dream a reality for the community at little expense to the taxpayers.
Colts Neck Committeeman and former Mayor Russell Macnow comments, "This is a great day for all of Colts Neck! We started this initiative in October of 2016. It was something I was interested in since my children played soccer in town, and it was made clear that Colts Neck athletes were in need of better fields for practice and play. My children are grown now, but today's families and future generations will have this amenity available to them. Colts Neck children and their families deserve the best, and we knew we needed to greatly improve our sports fields. The Thecker family made that dream a reality by their generous donation to the town and great team work made it possible to see that dream through to reality."
The multi-purpose turf field is 140,000 square feet and will be used for softball, soccer, football, baseball, lacrosse and anything else appropriate.
SEE DRONE VIDEO HERE: credit to Chris Rocco.
A plaque from the town of Colts Neck was presented to Patricia, wife of the late Duncan Thecker. The plaque read:
Duncan C. Thecker
A resident of Colts Neck Township from the early 1950s until his death in 2010 at age 95. Duncan Thecker was instrumental in the planning, transformation, and growth of Colts Neck Township from a farming community into a premier suburb.
Mr. Thecker believed it was essential for Colts Neck to embrace and retain its agrarian roots and for decades he was frequently seen driving his horse and carriage throughout town.
Duncan Thecker was a very service-minded gentleman who cared deeply about Colts Neck and its youth and upon his death enabled these fields to become a reality for the youth of Colts Neck Township.
November 3, 2018
Patricia was on site to cut the ribbon celebrating the new Five Points Turf Field, and to say a few words to the thankful residents of Colts Neck. VIDEO: Watch and listen to Patricia Thecker here:
The sunny November afternoon of the ribbon cutting was filled with laughter. Kids were running and jumping across the new field in celebration of their 'new turf'. A turf that so many of Colts Neck's children will train and compete on in a variety of sports. The Thecker family gave back to their community so that the children and families of Colts Neck could have something better. That gift will give now, and continue to give to future generations.
Longtime Colts Neck resident and volunteer John Grabowski said it very eloquently, "Turf fields have no roots, the roots here today are all of the volunteers and the kids who played through the years who had a dream of a professional field to play on."
Grabowski remembers bringing soccer to Colts Neck in 1972 from Kearney, "We had no fields to play on. My wife Veronica who has passed away since, helped to dig the first goal posts here in 1972. We've come a very long way with much gratitude to the Thecker family, and to all of the volunteers through the years. We are witnessing a dream so many shared now come to reality."
For more information about the amazing life of Duncan Thecker click here.