Alumni raise money to honor classmates
Rockport — In October, Camden Hills Regional High School kicked off a campaign to raise money to purchase and install bleachers and a press box at Don Palmer Field and thanks to a special group of alumni, the dream is one-step closer to reality.
Mike Ames and Dawn Emery, 1995 graduates of Camden-Rockport High School, began a drive calling for classmates to contribute money toward buying a set of bleachers as well as bricks in memory of classmates.
Soon after seeing Emery's plea on Facebook, Emily Rogers (class of '95), Jill Mitchell and Sarah McLean (class of '92) reached out to their former classmates for donations as well. Combined, they raised more than $3,200 to memorialize their fallen friends and presented the funds to the school May 5.
“We really need to thank Penny Crockett and Facebook for inspiring us,” Emery said. “If it wasn't for her post, we never would have thought of doing something that is such a fitting way to remember our classmates.”
Ames said he feels the high school is a great place to remember loved ones, especially former classmates.
“This is where we knew them the best, high school is where we created all of our memories and when we come here, we will always look for their names,” Ames said. “The donations speak volumes of the strong ties we all still have to our community.”
Thanks to their efforts, the names of Eben Sepe (class of '92), Donny Cayton (class of '94), Avery Crawford-Leigh and Beth Kneedler (class of '95) will be enshrined where they all excelled, an athletic field.
He added, “There are a lot of classmates that don't live in the area anymore that sent donations, although they don't live here anymore, they still consider this home.”
In addition to sponsoring bleachers, bricks to line "Victory Lane" can also be purchased.
Last week, the school received a donation from Camden National Bank, which brought them within $10,000 of ordering the bleachers. The school was then informed by a resident that if they could raise $5,000 in a week, the resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, would match it.
Camden Hills Athletic Director Steve Alex said the contributions made by the classes of 1992, '94 and '95 were a wonderful gesture. Added to a few other donations, the rest of a $5,000 goal was raised to gain the matching contribution and complete the purchase of the bleachers.
“We still have some more money to raise for the ground work and the press box, but this contribution today couldn't have come at a better time,” Alex said.
“Not only is this a way that we can remember our friends, it is a way to give to the school community where some of our kids go,” Mitchell said. “A set of bleachers to sit in while we are watching a game will be very nice and we can give them something we always thought would be nice but never had.”
The goal of the “Community Bleacher Project” is to raise $185,000 to buy and install a 650-seat set of bleachers and press box adjacent to Don Palmer Field. Don Palmer Field currently is the main venue for football, soccer, lacrosse, track and cross country teams at the high school level.
For more information about or to support the bleacher project go to www.camdenhillscommunitybleacherproject.com or contact Steve Alex at 236-7800.
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
(207) 236-8511 ext. 303
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