MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Airport Park project is coming down the home stretch and now the main soccer field there will have a new state-of-the-art scoreboard thanks to the generosity of two Mahopac residents.
Dan Fraser and Scooter Hatch, who are both members of the Mahopac Sports Association (MSA), are donating the funds to purchase the scoreboard which will be dedicated to memory of some of their family members. The board will feature a dedication in honor of Fraser’s uncle Mark (who was once chair of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals), and to Hatch’s parents, Rob and Betty Jo.
The plan was unveiled at the Town Board’s Aug. 26 meeting.
“This was approved by the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee as a project to go forward,” Recreation Director Jim Gilchrist told the Town Board. “We have two individuals in town who have been heavily involved in sports and have done a lot of charity—Scooter Hatch and Dan Frazier. They are both heavily involved in Airport Park and the building that is being constructed out there.
“I am hoping that the (town) board will accept this donation as it is [depicted] here, in the memory of Mark Fraser and Rob and Betty Jo Hatch,” he added.
Gilchrist said that he put the scoreboard donation under the umbrella of the volunteer work that is going on at the park’s new building.
“Scooter has volunteered his company’s insurance for the installation of the building, and I was hoping to have [the scoreboard] as part of that project,” Gilchrist explained. “We have an electrician volunteering his services, and he would provide the work [needed to install the scoreboard]. We would install it as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. We would bounce it by our engineering department just to double check on that. You’ve got wind loads, the size of the footing that’s going in, how deep it goes. The manufacturer will supply us with the drawings, and we will get approval from the engineering department before we install it. It will be very similar to what we did up at McDonough Park for the scoreboard there.”
Gilchrist said the board will be for the main field, also known as the varsity field, where the older children will play.
“This is a great honor and a tribute to your parents and your brother,” Supervisor Ken Schmitt told Hatch and Fraser. “It’s a very nice offer to donate it to the town. We’ve done this before; we have one at Baldwin Meadows and also McDonough Park. We appreciate you bringing it to us. I am pleased and happy to be part of this and to give my support.”
Hatch told the board that when he was growing up, his father was a big supporter of community soccer.
“My father was one of the original promoters of soccer in my hometown, East Aurora, New York,” he said. “It was the same as MSA soccer. He was one of the original board members.”
Although it wasn’t necessary, the board passed a resolution accepting the scoreboard donation.
“I think it would be really nice to have a written resolution on file for you guys,” Councilwoman Suzi McDonough said.
“I think it’s a fitting tribute” added Councilman Frank Lombardi.
Airport Park is a $2.2 million project that will feature five fields for soccer and lacrosse, bleachers, a playground, a support building with bathrooms, concession and a meeting room, as well as fencing, an upgraded driveway and parking lot and improved hiking trails. The support building is currently under construction and town officials say they hope to have the fields ready for play later this year.