Project punting for funds

Keith Adams, co-chair for the Lion Pride Restoration Project, said he is “pleased” with the way funding is coming in.

The project consists of raising funds to replace the existing artificial turf with a new artificial turf and replace the track surface. The committee looked into using grass instead of artificial turf, Adams said that it was not possible “maintenance wise.” Adams said he would like to see $1,000 from 1,000 donors. He said it sounds simple enough, but that it is only $4 a week. The cost for the project is $1 million; currently the project has $220,000 pledged.

“If you look at this project, the turf itself, the Lion Pride Restoration or the Fred G. Hughes restoration, whatever you want to call it,” said Curtis Betebenner, executive director of the Foundation, “there are three elements in this thing, and it looks like about $650,000 to replace the turf and another $300,000 to resurface the track.”

Betebenner said anytime two projects like this are put together, the cost will be substantial. Sallie Beard, athletic director said the project is “narrowing in on reaching half the goal.”

Funding is coming from alumni, companies, fans and supporters of student athletes. One of the companies getting involved is Coca-Cola.

Beard said that Coca-Cola will be doing a marketing campaign to help promote the project. She doesn’t know exactly what Coca-Cola will be doing, but it will involve having neck rings on two-liter bottles and more promotions.

Betebenner said there have been some corporate donations, and there are more pledge cards that have not been sent in yet. He said he only counts the pledges that have been sent in, instead of the ones that are still out and considered donating.

Adams said he thinks the committee will reach its goal. When the project is completed, there will be a ceremony held to place the names of those who donated on the two wings of Hughes Stadium. Persons interested in donating to the project can contact Beard at 625-9574; Betebenner at 625-9354; or Adams at 624-3561.