This article was submitted by the Friends of Caldwell Softball.
While many residents are relaxing this weekend, Caldwell Chief softball players of all ages will be hard at work in their continuing effort to raise $20,000 for new dugouts.
Several players will be in front of Sunrise Cellars, the Shoprite Liquor store, on Saturday from 10-2 p.m. in another fundraising effort in support of the dugouts to be installed at the Varsity softball field at James Caldwell High School (JCHS).
The girls, together with "Friends of Caldwell Softball", a group of local parents and coaches, have been running concession stands at tournaments, selling engraved pavers to local businesses and families, and raising money from members of the community.
With an initial donation of $1,000 from the "Friends of West Caldwell Softball", and another $7,000 raised by the girls so far, the Softball Chiefs are at approximately 40% of their goal.
The group is hoping that the generosity shown by the community for this cause will be continued.
In their continued support of the youth in our community, The Rotary Club of the Caldwells had issued the matching donation challenge to help build the new dugouts. Rotary has pledged a gift to the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education to cover half the cost of constructing new dugouts, up to $20,000, if other members of the community donate the balance.
With the inital $1,000 given by the "Friends of Caldwell Softball", a required topographical study of the field and an architect’s rendering of the proposed dugouts was completed.
This field is used not only by the high school teams, but also by hundreds of girls in Caldwell and West Caldwell, including players for the the T-ball teams, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade West Caldwell-Caldwell recreation teams, and 10 year & under, 12U, and 14U travel teams.
Unlike the baseball dugouts, the existing softball dugouts have no roofs, walls or floors. The new dugouts will have roofs for protection from the sun, rain and fly balls, as well as cement floors so the girls are not sitting with their feet and equipment in puddles when it rains.
Those interested in helping the softball players acquire new dugouts can make a donation in person, on line, or by mail. 6" x 9" pavers can also be purchased and personalized with up to four lines of text with 16 characters per line.
These will be installed on the walkway leading to the field's bleachers. The cost of an engraved paver is $150. Gifts of any amount are welcome and every dollar donated will help.
Gifts $500 and over will be considered sponsorships and will be commemorated with an inscription on a plaque to be hung on the dugouts.
Local businesses and organizations that wish to show their support as sponsors will be recognized.
Gifts can be made on line at www.dugouts.eventbrite.com or mailed to Friends of Caldwell Softball, c/o Valley National Bank, 15 Roseland Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006. "Friends of Caldwell Softball" has secured a 501(c)(3) nonprofit fiscal sponsor, so all gifts may be considered charitable contributions. For more information, please email Thefriendsofcaldwellsoftball@gmail.com.