Saturday, December 17, 2016

Will Someone Please Turn on the Lights?

Photo by Evan Brandt
Pottstown alum David Miller Thursday pledged $1,000 to the Save the Lights effort and challenged others in town to do the same in the next 100 days.

Like many of us, Pottstown resident David Miller has seen the effort to replace the stadium lights at Grigg Memorial Field limp along in its efforts to raise $300,000.

Then he read a story in a November edition of The Mercury in which Save the Lights fundraiser Polly Weand fired back at criticism leveled at her in the newspaper's popular-but-uncouth Sound Off section.

And it spurred him to action.

"I said you know what, let's get this done," he told The Mercury.

So on Thursday night, he appeared before the Pottstown School Board at their last meeting of the year and made a pledge.

He will donate $1,000 to the effort within the next 100 days and he challenged others in the community to step up and do the same.

Miller also challenged the board to consider relenting somewhat in its refusal to use tax money to get the project done, calling for the use of "limited tax dollars" to get the project finished in time for the 2017 football season.

School Board Vice President Emanuel Wilkerson told the board, and it agreed, to at least discuss the matter at the board's next finance meeting.

"An investment in athletics is as helpful to a student's educational experience as textbooks are," Miller said. "The things they learn about teamwork and loyalty will serve them throughout their lives, perhaps more than knowing what the chemical symbol for iron is."

Weand and several other board members thanked him for his gift and his initiative.

She had good news and bad news.

The bad news is that the NFL rejected Pottstown's application for a $50,000 grant toward the lights. The good news is that over the Thanksgiving break, the campaign received an anonymous $10,000 donation.

The fund now stands at $132,000, she said. If the campaign can meet the conditions set by the Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation, it will net another $75,000, she said, which would bring the today to $204,000 -- $96,000 short of the $300,000 goal.

"We continue to move closer to our goal," she said.

Now here are the Tweets from the rest of the meeting.

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