WESTFIELD - NorthLake Family Recreation Center 2, grass 0.
Thanks to financial assistance by many organizations and individuals, the recreation facility in Westfield recently purchased a Case International Model 30B compact tractor and a Cub Cadet GT2100 riding mower. These two machines will make the maintenance of the 11-acres of grass on the 16-acre facility a whole lot easier, replacing the current 13-year-old mower.
"Maintaining grass is the most important thing we do here," NorthLake Family Recreation Center President Bill Culligan said. "It takes up the vast majority of our time."
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Those who got the first look at the new maintenance equipment for the NorthLake Family Recreation Center were, from left to right, Westfield Recreation Department Coordinator Venn Blakely, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Secretary John D’Agostino, NCCF Program Coordinator Eileen Dunn, Village of Westfield Mayor David Carr, NLFRC board member Paul White, NLFRC President Bill Culligan, owner of LaPorte Farm Equipment Sam LaPorte, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation representative Angie Peck, NLFRC volunteer lawn mower Marc Brooker, Town of Westfield Supervisor Martha Bills, Lake Shore Savings Bank Westfield Manager Adam Dimitri and NLFRC board member and volunteer law mower William Imm.
Volunteer lawn mowers William Imm and Marc Brooker looked longingly at the new equipment on its first day at the center, waiting for their opportunity to see what the new machines can do.
"(They are) certainly glad to see we're buying some new equipment," Culligan said.
The purchase of the equipment was the culmination of around 16 months on fundraising resulting in over $20,000 being raised. Four local foundations - The Western New York Foundation, The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Lakeshore Savings Community Reinvestment Fund - were instrumental in the acquisition thanks to their financial assistance providing grants to the center.
"Those four groups were extremely generous to us," Culligan said. "We appreciate their support very much."
Locally, Paul and Patricia White and as well as the many contributors to the Sgt. Kevin White Memorial Fund made significant contributions towards the equipment. One of the center's soccer fields is dedicated in Kevin White's memory. David and Nancy Walker also helped out by donating a used tractor, which was used as a trade-in for the compact tractor.
The equipment was purchased locally at LaPorte Farm Equipment, Inc., located on the corner of Prospect and Hardenburg Roads in Westfield, which received the low bid. The business also helped in financing the tractor.
The NorthLake Family Recreation Center, located at 39 Nichols Ave., Westfield, consists of three soccer fields, a baseball field, two full-size basketball courts, two volleyball courts, a playground and a soccer kickboard. It is open during daylight hours.
In addition to being available for public use, the high school soccer teams play their games at the facility along with the spring travel, Chautauqua summer and fall recreation soccer leagues. Also, Babe Ruth utilizes the baseball field for its games. Approximately 500 youth participate in various team sports at the facility annually with several thousand spectators and casual users enjoying the grounds as well.
The NorthLake Family Recreation Center, which was incorporated in 1997, is a private, non-profit corporation run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Its mission is "To improve the quality of life in the Northern Chautauqua County area by providing facilities and programs where people of all ages can enjoy a variety of recreational activities safely, inexpensively and in a wholesome environment."
The center is recognized under section 501(C)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service and all contributions are tax deductible. The group continues to seek donations for this and other projects to improve youth recreational opportunities.
Additional information can be found on the NorthLake website, www.northlakerec.org.