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Letter: For All PAL Baseball and Softball Players’ Families

This past March, Rocky Pacent, the Manhasset PAL Director of girls travel softball, lost his battle with cancer. Rocky spent many years building the girls program from the ground up into the highly competitive scholastic and recreational teams we field today. In his memory, and to further his high expectations, family and friends committed to building a new synthetic-turf baseball/softball field at Manhasset High/Secondary School.

The new field will provide a less costly and more reliable facility that will minimize game and practice cancellations for both the girls and boys of the Manhasset PAL family. Plans for the new field include a new (certified heavy metal free) synthetic infield, new drainage and backstops, covered player benches, safe batter warm-up areas, an expanded natural grass outfield with sprinklers (which additionally serve as school practice fields during the off-season), a portable outfield fence and modern electronic scoreboard. Representatives of this project have had numerous meetings with the Manhasset Board of Education, district superintendent, athletic director and other staff members, and have been encouraged to continue the plans to successful completion.

This past spring, in spite of a miserable economic climate and in the face of the distractions of the end of school and the beginning of summer, many of Rocky’s family and friends as well as the community at large contributed a significant amount to the project through the “Balloons Over Manhasset” campaign this past spring. Recently, the Manhasset High School Booster Club has shown its support by graciously donating additional funds. We are appealing to other community groups for donations and contributions.

All of these efforts have yielded approximately 80 percent of the $200,000 needed to complete the state-of-the-art facility that our children would be proud to call their home field. In reliance on the money collected and pledged to date, four prices were received from companies that are ready to break ground immediately. We are asking for your help to get us the rest of the way.

The process has also progressed with community concerns in mind. Project supporters have made every effort to address the possible health issues surrounding the use of synthetic fields, its infill, and the effects of extreme heat conditions on the field. By demanding higher-cost, healthier alternatives, project supporters feel confident that the final project will satisfy the highest standards available.

First, each manufacturer that has submitted pricing has confirmed that it will deliver a certificate upon completion that the synthetic field is lead free. Second, all available options are being explored in using the healthiest infill. And third, the construction specifications provide for hose bibs on each side of the field to be used if watering down and “cooling off” of the field during extreme sun conditions. The PAL and the school have requirements governing play during extreme heat, and play on any field will be stopped if the heat index rises beyond the guidelines set by New York State.

Our plan is to award the project to one of the contractors within the next few weeks, final funds pending, and to begin construction this November, with completion scheduled by the early March, 2010, in time for the high school and middle school’s spring seasons. But we can’t do it without your help. If, for whatever reason, you have not yet had the opportunity to donate, this is to confirm that, in baseball terms, we’ve rounded second, and we’re on our way to third with our eyes set on home.

Please consider a donation of $1,000, $500, $100, or any amount you think will get us closer to our goal to benefit our children.

Send to: The Rocky Pacent Fund, c/o Manhasset Pal Baseball/Softball, 565 Plandome Road, P.O Box 212, Manhasset, NY  11030.

On behalf of the many who have donated their time and resources to date, and to those of you who want to join us now, we thank you.

Rocky Pacent Softball Fund

C/O Manhasset PAL Baseball/Softball