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According to fundraising campaign honorary chairman Jim Brown, "This is an exciting event for our entire community. For the past 46-years, there has been only one stadium shared by both Hagerstown high schools. We are moving towards making available to the entire community a terrific new outdoor stadium facility." Brown said that the project has already received significant financial and in-kind donations, "We are announcing our architectural team, and also will be announcing our donations to date."
The project is a $2.3-million private effort, that has been endorsed by the Washington County Public Schools. According to Stadium Committee Chairman John Williamson, "This private funding of a public facility is a unique project for the state of Maryland since virtually all high schools had stadiums included when the schools were originally built. Currently there are more than 71 events that take place at the stadium at South Hagerstown High School, not including the huge number of various team and event practices. The new Mike Callas Stadium will benefit all of Washington County, and make every school have an easier and more efficient athletic schedule, while presenting new venue opportunities for community events and activities."
The Campaign Leadership Committee includes business and community leaders from throughout Washington County, and the fundraising effort has already garnered wide support. According to campaign co-chair Rick Toms, "We actually are just beginning to solicit donations from businesses and individuals, and we are extremely pleased at the great response we've had so far." Organizers confidently anticipate more than one-million dollars of in-kind donations.
At the kick-off event, a new web site and campaign brochure will be unveiled, as well as architectural renderings of the planned multi-use facility. The stadium committee, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is not only contacting all North Hagerstown High School alumni, but also partnering with businesses from throughout the county. Williamson said, "It's important that we communicate just how important this project is, how important this new stadium will be for our entire community, and how we have a unique opportunity right now to move this project forward."