Friday, December 19, 2014

Wildwood High School Alumni Raise Funds to Rehab Press Box

Jerry Rosenberg, left, and David Thompson, right

Two members of Wildwood High School’s Class of 1975 have taken it upon themselves to make sure the press box of the Warrior Nation’s battlefield is in tiptop condition.

And they’re doing it in memory of their late classmates who played sports for Wildwood High School at Maxwell Field.

“We had some classmates pass away the past couple of years,” said David Thompson. “We wanted to honor them.” 

Finding a way to memorialize their late classmates by doing something for their alma mater was easy; the poor condition of the press box was visible from the street.

Holes in the maroon siding and paint worn from the school’s warrior logo made the building look tired and in dire need of repair.

“Every one of them played sports and played on this field,” said Jerry Rosenberg. “They are all participated in athletics.”

“This press box was in bad shape. The wood was rotted and blown off, you could see the studs in the walls,” Thompson said. “It looks terrible to tourists on Park Boulevard when they go by and when the local team plays their football games and soccer games here, when the away teams come, this is what they see and I thought it looked bad for the school. It’s an embarrassment to our school kids that are playing now when the other teams come and see the condition of the press box at their field. It looks bad for them.”

He and his classmate, Rosenberg, decided to take hammers in hand and donate their time and expertise to rehab the press box. The fact that both men are local contractors made the decision an easy one.

“I contacted the city officials and offered to fix it up for the kids,” Thompson said.  The pair also put the idea out to their classmates to garner support.  “We wanted to do it to honor our classmates who had passed away.”

When the pair put out the word, members of the Class of ’75 responded with offers to help. Several classmates offered their talents as contractors, one, a graphic artist, offered to create a new warrior logo for the box. 

Plans for the press box include replacement of outside rotted wood, new maroon and white siding, a new roof and slider windows. “We hope to do doors around the track at the entrance to the field, if we have enough money.”

To complete the job and bring the press box back to its former glory will require donations of money and supplies. That’s why the pair is sending out the call for donations.

“At this point we have enough help,” Thompson said. “We have enough volunteers; it’s all classmates that are helping.  We just need money.”

The pair estimates the cost of the rehab will be in the range of $6,000 - $7,000. To date they’ve raised $1,000.

“We have a very, very tight class,” said Thompson. “Our classmates who passed away were good friends. They were the kids that everybody liked.”

“Those who have graduated from Wildwood High School seem to never forget their roots,” said Mayor Ernie Troiano.  “We are very thankful for their time and effort in trying to make things better for the next generation.”

Donations to help offset the cost of the press box rehab may be mailed to 106 W. Fern St., Wildwood Crest.  Checks should be made out to “Wildwood High School Class of 1975.”

Additional information can be obtained by calling Thompson at 609-827-1238.

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