The Lakewood Athletic Boosters is proud to announce the launch of the Go Lakewood Fund to Save Our Fields
From "Saturday Soccer" and tee-ball on up through basketball, football and travel sports, the Lakewood Athletic Boosters members were the coaches, asst. coaches, team managers, and supportive parents for our teams and programs.
We represent the primary user group of these facilities stretching back 20 years and we seek to help the School District re-engage the priorities with these facilities and provide a platform to express our support. Our community has been vocal in both the criticism and advocacy for our fields and courts and we want to channel that energy towards near-term, concrete improvements to the current physical structures and long term planning and development.
Fields Like No Other
The City of Lakewood Ohio is home to many iconic public sports facilities within our city parks and Lakewood City Schools. Lakefront Ball Field literally has Lake Erie in right field. Garfield Middle School Stadium shares the right of way with the railroad and trains shake the field mid-game. Down the rail sits Foxx Field named in honor of Jimmie Foxx who served as Rec Director in Lakewood after his pro baseball career. First Federal Stadium sits in the center of the city alongside LHS Baseball Field - two of the earliest turf fields in the region.
Lakewood is unique in that the School District maintains and permits the city sports fields and provides nearly all recreation programming while the City of Lakewood handles general parks planning and development. In addition, the community recreation programs rely almost exclusively on the school district owned facilities for indoor and outdoor sports. Youth Football, Soccer, Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Tennis, Track & Field and Softball all share both city and school owned fields.
Over the last 15 years, our fields have been met with ongoing maintenance challenges while other communities continue to develop modern facilities.
What kind of field problems?
Uneven playing fields, poor drainage, dangerous raised infield lips, incorrect dimensions, aging turf surfaces, overgrown infields, incomplete or lack of fencing, rolling outfields, cracked asphalt... These are only a few immediate concerns that have been identified and communicated over the last 10 years.
While maintenance issues grow, the gap between what we have and what we need has continued to widen.
There are discussions starting between the City and the Lakewood City School but they lack your voice and your vision.
What Fields Need Help?
Some fields are worse than others and some just need adapted for use. All are programmed by our School District and enjoyed by the entire community. Some are School Owned facilities and some are City owned parks.
Stone House (Infield Repaired!!!)
Emerson School Field
Edwards Park Field
Cove Park Field
Kaufmann Park Foxx Field
Madison Park Usher Field
Harding Middle School Field
Garfield Middle School Turf
Lakewood High Baseball Field Turf
Lakewood High Tennis Courts
New Lakewood High School North Lot Field (bathrooms, running water)
Why is the Lakewood Athletic Boosters starting this?
The LHS Adult Boosters is a 501c3 founded in 1991 to support our School District High School and Middle School athletic programs. In 1996 we renamed as the Lakewood Athletic Boosters and began our mission is to raise now $60,000 per year to support the current programs. In 2015, we took over the management of all the Team Fund Accounts for all 24 sports on behalf of the athletic department. Our members are the parents and youth head coaches, assistant coaches, team managers from the last 20 years in Lakewood. Our books are public to the penny and shared each month at our meetings. We are uniquely positioned to raise funds for this cause.
Shouldn't our Tax dollars cover this?
State funding of our schools does not have any requirement to maintain fields and facilities. The School Board and Administration determine what is budgeted and in need.
What about the City of Lakewood?
Since around 1927, the city of Lakewood has not had a Parks & Recreation Department. The city owned parks are maintained by the Public Works Department and there is no Recreation Department at the City so there are no internal representatives of athletics in city hall.
How much do you need?
At present, we need $4425 to cover costs of repairing and correcting Stone House Infield. But the fund will grow to address other immediate needs.
What will my donation be used for?
The Go Lakewood Fund will be used to help cover the costs of repairing Stone House, Foxx and Usher field to start.
How will you be sure that it's used correctly?
The Lakewood Athletic Boosters is creating the Go Lakewood Commission to review and manage fund disbursements. We will be seeking candidates who have expertise in sports and recreation within our community to provide guidance to the District.
Contact us if you would like to learn more.
Vince Frantz, President
Lakewood Athletic Boosters