Friday, April 20 , 2018, 11:58 am | Fair 62º


Field of Champions Capital Campaign Receives $75,000 Grant

Nearly half of the $850,000 has been raised for a new artificial turf field at San Marcos

The Field of Champions, a nonprofit organization that is developing a permanent turf field at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, has received a $75,000 grant from the Fullerton-based Cal South Field Development Foundation.

“Completion of this project will have a positive impact on over 4,000 youth athletes per year,” foundation representative Shirley Ramirez said. “This is a regional improvement with respect to field access in the Santa Barbara area. Cal South players, clubs and leagues will benefit long into the future. The additional lighted practice and match space on artificial turf will give the district an opportunity to focus on new efforts and energy into revitalization and improvement of the natural turf fields outside of the stadium area.

“This will account for a net growth in the available space for youth soccer and other local sports. The fundraising efforts spearheaded by the Santa Barbara Soccer Club and the Field of Champions are to be congratulated and commended.”

The Field of Champions capital campaign committee co-chairs Tim VomSteeg and Rich Ridgway said nearly $400,000 has been raised toward the goal of $850,000.

The campaign partnership has been forged to achieve the common goal of enhancing the quality of the Sut Puailoa Field at San Marcos High School, used by more than 24,000 youth athletes, community groups, coaches, teachers, spectators and community members a year. Completion of the $850,000 campaign will result in the replacement of the 40-year-old existing grass field with synthetic turf, a safe and more environmentally sound playing surface. The new state-of-the-art field will replace the existing stadium soccer/track/football/general purpose field at San Marcos High School. The 2,200-student high school is governed by the Santa Barbara School District.

The new turf field will eliminate down time due to muddy fields, lack of grass, dangerous holes and months of reseeding every year. In addition, the new field will provide operating cost savings, such as a significant reduction of labor costs, chemicals and fuel for mowing, seeding, fertilization, pesticides, irrigation, field preparation and striping. The environmentally friendly turf field filler material is made of recycled tires.

Capital campaign committee members include Ridgway (Investec Real Estate Companies) , Vom Steeg (UCSB men’s soccer coach), Lorie Bacon, Daniel Brennan M.D., Robert Brennan DDS, Jim Crook, Lisa Douglas, Katina Etsell, Ryan Fell, Billy Gallagher, Paul Gamberdella, Tom Gilmore, Mark Hall, Scott Puailoa, Rochelle Rose, Sal Rodriguez, Darcia Stebbens CPA, Heike Venturino, Stewart White DDS, Erik Wipf DDS, Steve Woodward, Abe Jahadhmy (San Marcos athletic director) and Dave Odell (president of the Santa Barbara Soccer Club).

“Donations can be in your name, in memory or in honor of someone, or a business name or sponsorship,” Ridgway said. “Substantial donations made now will help us reach our goal quickly.”

Major gifts and pledges have been made by the Santa Barbara Soccer Club, the Cal South Field Development Foundation, the Williams-Corbett Foundation, the Bixby Foundation, the Douglas Family Foundation, the Sut Puailoa Fund, the Volentine Foundation, the Bull Foundation, the San Marcos Booster Club and others.

“It is a well-known fact in our community that we are limiting the opportunity for recreational activity for our youth by not having enough quality fields to play on,” VomSteeg said. “The completion of this project will not only add substantial hours of recreational play but will open up space on other fields in our community for other user groups.  It really is a win-win situation.”

To contribute to the Field of Champions campaign, click here, call Scottee Reid at 805.679.7592 or mail to TFOC, P.O. Box 60208, Santa Barbara, CA 93160.

— Rochelle Rose represents the Field of Champions campaign.

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