G-A MAAX formed to raise stadium funds

The groundbreaking for the stadium renovation project was performed by the people who will use the facilities the most, the students of Greencastle-Antrim High School. Nineteen representatives from the various activities tried to shovel the hard dirt, without much success. Pictured from left, Michael Seville and Colin Maher, band; Courtney Szaflarski and Malaya Maloy, cheerleading; Tache Smothers, basketball and field hockey; and Ashlynn Schaeffer, softball.

An announcement by Vern McCauley came even as a surprise to committee members of the capital campaign to fund construction of two turf athletic fields, resurface the track, and install new stadium lights. They were gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at Kaley Field, and to reveal that the campaign would be called G-A MAAX, an acronym for ‘maximizing arts and athletic excellence.’

Committee vice chairman McCauley informed the crowd Tuesday evening that the first major donation had been pledged for the $2.5 million project. He had received a call just that day from someone who wished to make a sizable donation. McCauley said they weren’t ready for that yet.

“I quickly called back after I composed myself,” he then stated. “Dean Martin from Sunnyway Foods donated $10,000 and issued a challenge, which starts now.”

Martin pledged an additional $40,000 if nine individuals or businesses would match his gift within the next 90 days.

McCauley added that John Flannery from The John Allison Public House was sponsoring G-A MAAX Night every Sunday, and 10 percent of proceeds would go towards the campaign.

During the ceremony May 24, McCauley said Kaley Field had been dedicated Sept. 16, 1978, new lights and a concession stand were added in the early 1980s, and in 1999 the cinders were replaced with an all-weather track.

“Due to the aging process and constant use, the school board voted to revitalize it.”

The plan was that a bond taken out by the district would be paid back through fundraising. The volunteers who immediately joined the steering committee with McCauley were James Farley, elected chairman; Fred Bubeck, treasurer; Kristy Faulkner, assistant treasurer; Brenda Blair, secretary; Linda Farley, assistant secretary; Andrea McCauley, public relations; Melinda Cordell, director; and David Spencer, director.

McCauley stressed that the purpose of the campaign was also to strengthen community pride.

“We have a lot of work to do and it will take a lot of people. It’s an excellent time to live in the Greencastle-Antrim community. We look forward to working with you.”

The public was invited to join one of many committees to work on the fundraising efforts over the next weeks, months and years.

At long last the secret is out. The name of the stadium renovation capital campaign is G-A MAAX, standing for Maximizing Arts and Athletic X-cellence. The name and logo were revealed during the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday night at Kaley Field.