GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

September 6, 2013

The 'village' spirit behind 'new' Newell Stadium


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

On Wednesday night, I hurried to wrap up a family dinner as we listened to our 13-year-old son describe his first day of school, as an 8th grader at the O’Maley Innovation Middle School.

I wanted to catch the final minutes of our first field hockey game at the officially named, “New Balance Track and Field at Newell Stadium.”

As I arrived, the game was ending, and I noticed the excited victory smiles from our field hockey coach, fans, and athletic director.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that a friend was just there to watch the team and to experience the new Newell Stadium. I saw a middle-aged couple power walking around the track. I witnessed excited and happy GHS Varsity Field Hockey teammates, high fiving and proud to be a Gloucester Fisherman wearing maroon and white. We beat Revere 7-0.

As the crowd dispersed, I climbed to the top row of the new pristine bleachers and looked at our gorgeous new field. I looked toward the river and then the scoreboard. I reached for my Kleenex.

My husband Paul and I have lived here in Gloucester year-round for 30 years. I was a summer kid wannabe who never wanted to leave this island in late August. I dreamed to make Gloucester a permanent home for my family.

We moved here not because we have perfect buildings and roads, rather, because we love the diversity and beauty of this community. We might not have a lot of new revenue and buildings, but every member of this community has heart.

It took a village to build a playground at Plum Cove, my son’s elementary school. It took a village to build a science center at West Parish, an art wing at East Gloucester Elementary School, and a dog park at Stage Fort Park. And, it took a village to build a new Newell Stadium.

For every person, organization, and company who contributed to this successful initiative, thank you.

My friend, Dick Wilson, leader of the Gloucester Fisherman Athletic Association and primary organizer of this fund-raising drive, summarized this sentiment in a quote in Thursday’s GDT, “We did it …. Gloucester did it – all of Gloucester did it.”

See you tonight, and don’t forget your Kleenex.

VAL GILMAN

Revere Street, Gloucester,

Vice chair, Gloucester School Committee