We are writing to ask residents to support Scarsdale’s athletes and the greater community by contributing to the installation of high-quality LED lights on Butler Field (the turf field) at Scarsdale High School. The new lights will replace rented diesel-powered lights used in recent years, providing crisper lighting with less glare, with no light spillage, generator noise, or fuel emissions to affect players, spectators or neighbors. 

The lights will allow our athletes and community to get the most out of the newly renovated Butler Field complex. Our athletes will be able to complete games now truncated by early sunsets and will be able to host weekday playoff games (soccer, field hockey) that are impossible to host without lights due to pre-5 p.m. sunsets. Even more important, extending the usage of the turf field beyond sunset will enable SHS and youth teams the opportunity for necessary practice and preparation when weather or darkness force our grass fields to be closed, including all of March, most of November, extra hot days in August, and frequent in-season field closings for soggy conditions. 

Night games are a treasure for the kids and the greater Scarsdale community. Athletes love the excitement of playing under the lights, primarily because more of their friends, their working parents, and other members of the community can attend night games. When all athletics take place simultaneously in the afternoon, athletes can’t cheer their friends on other teams, but they can come out for night games. Increasing computer-oriented work combined with the addictive allure of social media make real community events more important than ever for both kids and parents. The electric atmosphere at night games uniquely promotes school pride, community unity, and provides safe and supervised evening events for Scarsdale’s children. 

Nearly all of Scarsdale’s surrounding communities have installed field lights because the above-mentioned benefits are so obvious and compelling. The absence of field lights at SHS is a negative signal to today’s homebuyers that Scarsdale has fallen behind the times. The decisions of the Scarsdale High School administration, the board of education and the village board of trustees to pursue the installation of these high-quality lights should be applauded. 

The $850,000 cost of installing the lights will be privately funded. Maroon & White seeded the first $200,000 and private donations to date have added another $300,000-plus. The balance needs to be raised by January 2020 for the lights to be installed before the fall 2020 season. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to this important cause. Rarely does Scarsdale’s prolific charitable generosity have such a profound and immediate positive effect on the lives of our own kids, our own community and our own environment. All donors will be publicly recognized and donations over $1,000 will be recognized with permanent personalized pavers along the Walk of Lights pathway at Butler Field. 

Donations can be made online at maroonandwhite.org or by check to Maroon & White, P.O. Box 124, Scarsdale, NY 10583. Thank you for your support.

KATE CONLAN and STEPHEN NICHOLAS

Co-chairs, Light the Future! Committee

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