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Ohio University Foundation awarded funds for development of soccer fields

Published 12:00am Sunday, November 13, 2011

PROCTORVILLE — The Ohio University Southern campus has secured another $2,500 for construction and equipment on the Eastern Lawrence County Youth Soccer Fields, this time from the Foundation for the Tri-State Community.

The Ohio University Southern (OUS) Foundation has teamed up with the Eastern Lawrence County Youth Soccer Association (ELYSA) to provide two permanent soccer fields in the front area at the Ohio University Southern Proctorville Center.

Due to FAA restrictions, the ELYSA is no longer permitted to use the Lawrence County Airpark’s field located in Chesapeake.

“The community has expressed a desire for the development of the fields especially on the heels of a successful soccer season. Momentum is really picking up,” said Matt Ward, director of development for Ohio University Southern.

Ward was approached by Stephanie Burcham, Ohio University Proctorville director, to take the lead on creating a better atmosphere for youth recreation after the Lawrence County Youth Soccer Association was notified they could no longer use the Chesapeake fields. This partnership would go above the current standards for soccer enthusiasts in the Tri-State.

The project had received a previous award of $2,500 from the Lawrence County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

“The soccer fields at the Ohio University Proctorville Center have provided a great place for the youth of Lawrence County to play, and for their family and friends to gather and build a sense of community.

“The Foundation for the Tri-State Community is delighted to have played a small part in this exciting endeavor” said Mary Witten Wiseman, president of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community.

Currently, ELYSA has more than 300 children from Lawrence County participating in the soccer programs each year.

The organization also hosts a British soccer camp that has grown in popularity in the region. “This year was our second year to host a British soccer camp. This is a camp where more than 75 children participate and interact with young coaches from the UK who stay in Lawrence County during the week of the camp. The camps have been extremely successful,” said Jason Stephens, pPresident of the ELYSA.

For more information on these developments or to donate, contact Matt Ward, Director of Development at (740) 547-3792

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  • willow

    Thank you, Poor Richard, I would have not thought to ask those questions but you do make a good point. My husband is having a wonderful time looking at the auditor’s web page and we certainly see what you are talking about. We have found properties coded as vacant residential land when the aerial photo clearly shows buildings. We’re planning a field trip soon to look at some of those properties! Keep up the comments.

    (Report comment)

  • Poor Richard

    Positive? Really? Local officals are constantly making decisions that affect peoples lives in this county without presenting a complete picture and revealing all the facts. In my opinion, it’s about time citizens start asking questions about those decisions particularly when they are arranged to benefit certain people or groups. That includes a soccer field that has NOTHING to do with the progress or making the county a ‘better place’ — for who, Mr. Stephens, business owners like yourself who want to appear as community heros? who want to get re-elected? I would think that someone that collects salaries from three jobs including that of county auditor could fund a soccer field. Many citizens in this county do not have ONE job. I can think of many people, Mr. Stephens who would love to be an absentee elected offical and collect a huge salary with an occasional office visit or have money to feed their children for what you spend on sports equipment. The auditor’s condescending attitude toward anyone that might not support his ‘pet projects’ or share his views is simply astounding coming from an ‘elected official’. Oh, but wait a minute, I guess he actually collects salaries from four jobs since his residential home is listed as a 101 – CASH – GRAIN OR GENERAL FARM on the county auditor webpage — guess he sells grain out of his swimming pool. The 101 code likely contributes a great deal of savings on property taxes too — what a shame that same perk cannot be passed onto other ‘grain establishments’ in the county, I am sure the owners would be grateful for the reduction in taxes. Seems OUS and Mr. Stephens did not want to answer any questions about the soccer field arrangments — not surprising since it does appear to benefit certain individuals. Get over yourself Mr. Stephens — didn’t vote for you, never have, never will.

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  • Poor Richard

    Maybe I am mistaken but I thought the OUS Foundation was put in place so people/businesses could donate to the university with the assumption it would be used for ‘university projects’ and particularly ‘OUS educational projects’. Everyone knows the land in Proctorville was donated to the university by a private individual and likely they had stipulations that something must be built. This would explain the ridiculous building 25 miles away from the main OUS Campus and the pure waste of funds to build it. That’s nice that the Campus allows soccer but exactly how is the university foundation paying for it — the funds are not being used for a university activity and their is no mention of a grant. If grants are available to the ENTIRE community from the OUS Foundation, then OUS should let the community as a whole know about them. Another question would be the liability insurance for a soccer field — will the insurance increase at the expense of OUS? Who is paying for the insurance? Will the soccer organization or OUS charge for admission to this soccer field and if so, who keeps the proceeds? I really do not understand this. Are all area schools going to be permitted to use this field?? Don’t the public schools around the area have baseball and football fields that can be used for a soccer field as well? Is Stephanie Black related to these folks or a friend, what really is her role in all this — again, this is NOT university related activities. Obviously Jason Stephens has his hand in it — has he taken county money out of the auditor’s office to fund it too? Stephens has about 40 acres of flat land on his property — let him build a soccer field. Maybe the Lawrence County Convention and Visitors bureau can explain their role in donating money. I’m wondering if they all gave to the special olympics too?????? IT IS MY OPINION THAT ANYTHING BUILT OR UTILIZED ON UNVERISITY PROPERTY SHOULD BE UNIVERSITY RELATED IN FURTHERING EDUCATION NOT MORE OF THIS AREA SPORTS CRAP.

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    • Jason C. Stephens

      Poor Richard needs to just get over herself. She sits on the Tribune website behind her Internet code name, criticizing anything and every thing positive that is going on in our county. Why doesn’t she at least have the courage to let people know her real name when she posts nonsense like above?

      Ohio University is one of the best assets in our county. The people there truly care about Lawrence County and want to make it a better place. Trying to improve a flood prone hay field to allow 300 kids to play soccer for a couple months out of the year is a perfect example how they are working to better the community.

      Lawrence County is on the move. A lot of people in a lot of communities are working to make this county a better place. It is a shame that folks like Poor Richard allow their arrogance and envy to put a damper on the positive work of those who do good for others.

      Keep up the good work, Lawrence County.


      (Report comment)

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