F-M push for turf field hits crucial stretch

Community fund-raising efforts picked up in the fall. For a locally televised football game against Utica Proctor on Oct. 1, more than 1,000 "Turf It Up" T-shirts were sold, at $10 apiece. Also, the school staged a "Turkey Trot" on Thanksgiving Day at F-M's cross country course, where more than 300 runners took part.

Meanwhile, the FMCSFA sent out letters to all 9,800 households in the school district, and has also built up a database of 2,800 alumni to ask for donations. FMCSFA board co-chairman Kevin Hanlon said donations are arriving from places as far away as Texas and California.

One of those alums working to drum up support is Jeff Izant, a 2004 graduate who played lacrosse at F-M and Princeton and is now a student at Columbia University's law school. He said that the initial contacts he has made with fellow F-M grads have gone well.

"Everyone I have talked to has been interested in contributing, from a financial or a time perspective," said Izant.

Also, FMCSFA has put up a web site, fmfield.com, which features a seven-minute video of F-M athletes explaining why the turf field would be so important to the school and community.

Roy said that, for current and former athletes, the project is a "legacy contribution", a chance for them to give back to their alma mater. The next few months will determine the extent to which their efforts will pay off - and whether F-M will have a new field to call home next fall.

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