Thursday, 28 May 2009 16:00
On March 8, Rocky Pacent, Manhasset PAL Baseball/Softball Girls Travel Coordinator, lost his six-month battle with cancer. Rocky worked tirelessly for Manhasset PAL. The Rocky Pacent Softball Fund plans to realize one of his dreams by constructing a state-of the art girls’ ball field in Manhasset. The field will serve middle and high school girls’ softball teams, as well as boys and girls in PAL programs. Improving the Manhasset High School “lower field” will benefit Manhasset baseball and softball players of all ages.
The field is in dire need of repair. Due to poor drainage, any rainfall renders the field unplayable for days. This spring 75 percent of the scheduled PAL boys and girls games have been cancelled due to this unplayable field. Five of the six Varsity Softball home games required relocation to the opposing teams’ fields. There are other problems with the current field: poor fencing, insufficient bleacher space, and no player benches.
The baseball and softball programs have begun producing players that colleges are beginning to recruit. With a proper lower field those players, and those younger players coming up through the ranks of PAL, will not have to face the uphill climb of performing at a college level on a field that handicaps all players.
The planned renovation includes relocating the entire field approximately 20 feet southeast from its present location. This relocation will allow for the installation of covered player benches, bleachers, enclosed batter-warm-up areas, scoreboard, a new backstop and playing field. The project will also include the purchase of portable outfield fencing, providing flexibility for field usage for players of all ages, from PAL boys’ baseball to girls’ high school softball. The portable fencing will also allow other sports to use the outfield without risk of compromising the new infield.
The preliminary estimated budget for the project is approximately $200,000. Fortunately this is less than the cost of work already performed at the Varsity field. Even at this lower cost, the new field will provide the quality the program deserves. The fund is off to a terrific start-friends of Rocky who live outside of the Manhasset area, and who had knowledge of Rocky’s dream, have already donated close to $20,000.
The goal is to have the new field ready for play at the start of the 2010 spring baseball season. The fund intends to fully gift this field through donations, with no cost to the school district.
The fund is now actively seeking donations. During the interview, event organizer Seval LaRocca, invited the community to the “non-event” scheduled for Friday, June 26. Details of the project can be found on the website www.rockypacent.org. The goal is to complete all fundraising needs by September 30, with construction beginning in November 2009.
The Rocky Pacent Softball Fund’s mission is clear: “construct a state-of the art ball field in Manhasset. The field will serve middle and high school girls’ softball teams, as well as boy and girls in PAL programs. The inspiration for the project is to honor our friend, neighbor, “brother” and coach, Rocky Pacent, for his boundless dedication to and enthusiasm for girls’ softball.” The group hopes you agree that this is a worthy investment in the children’s future and that you will be moved to make a donation in honor and memory of Rocky Pacent.