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Westport's Staples Field Lights Project Kicks Off Friday

WESTPORT, Conn. – Lights on the Staples High School football field are slated to be installed in mid-July. To celebrate this project , which has taken more than three decades to come to fruition, a groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday night at the field.

"Our committee has been working very hard to make this dream a reality," said Patrick Kelly, president of the Staples Gridiron Club and chair of the Staples Stadium Fundraising Committee. Comprised of Staples athletics supporters, the committee has been raising money to pay for the lights, which were approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission in March.

"The field has been dark at dusk for the past 50 years," Kelly added. "These lights give Staples athletics an opportunity to host night games and activities never before possible. Night home athletic events will truly be a source of pride for the school and for the Town of Westport."

The committee is also raising funds for a new concession stand, with handicap accessible restrooms, at Staples Stadium.

In all, the committee hopes to raise $600,000 for both projects. So far, the committee has raised about $310,000. Kelly said about $350,000 is needed to cover the lights-only portion of the project, which covers the purchase and installation of the lights, along with associated sound and wiring work.

"I hope all students, parents, alumni, friends and the entire Town of Westport will contribute to this very special project," said Marce Pettrocio, Staples Varsity Football head coach. "The Westport community deserves the excitement of a Friday Night Lights event."

With construction on the lights expected to begin in mid-July, the lights would be ready for the fall season. Construction on the concession stand can't begin until the committee raises 100 percent of the money needed for that project, Kelly said.

Contributions can be made online through the Staples Stadium Project website . The lights groundbreaking ceremony will take place immediately before to the annual Spring Blue/White football scrimmage at 5:45 p.m. at Staples field.

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