I am writing in response to your article in the Antioch Press written by staff writer Dave Roberts entitled 'Building community center a top priority.' Contrary to the premise that 'there is nothing for kids to do in Antioch after school,' I find that there is an abundance of fantastic programs in Antioch to keep youth busy.
The difficult thing is budgeting one's time to participate in various programs and still find time for school, homework, work, responsibilities at home and community service.
I spend my time with Boy Scout Troop 450 in Antioch and playing sports - primarily soccer and lacrosse. I had to give up swimming with the East County Stingrays, Water Polo and playing the piano because of time constraints. These programs are just a few of those offered by many unpaid selfless volunteers - there are many more.
I am writing because these programs, which cost the city of Antioch nothing to operate or maintain, are hampered by poor facilities. Many programs in Antioch were closed all winter due to the parks and playing fields being closed due to winter rain. Soccer was banned from our schools and parks for two months and baseball even had opening day cancelled. Also, even when open, the state in which our fields are kept is very poor.
Antioch would benefit by having all-weather turf fields. They can be built for a fraction of the cost of a community center: $3 million would build three all-weather turf fields (with lights for evening use) at Prewett Park and benefit thousands of youth that play baseball, soccer, football, rugby and other sports.
All-weather fields do not have to be watered, mowed, or reseeded. They could be built within a year and benefit our community. Let's provide facilities for our youth now.
We can build a community center at a later date when they have an operating budget to staff, heat, air condition, and maintain a large community center.
Antioch cannot maintain the existing infrastructure. Just drive down our roads or look at the weeds in the parks and street medians. We should not build something else we cannot maintain.
It is wrong not to have affordable facilities now - especially with 26.5 million dollars of Mello-Roos money sitting idle while a generation of youth grows up. Antioch should have the turf fields available in almost every other city in Contra Costa County.
Thanks for Relay help
On behalf of the 2006 American Cancer Society Relay for Life East County (Pittsburg, Antioch and Oakley area), our thanks and sincere appreciation to all the individuals, sponsors, corporate sponsors, and local businesses who so graciously supported this year's Seventh Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Due to an insufficient listing available to me at this time, I refrain from listing the whole of our many wonderful sponsors and supporters.
Our 2006 Relay for Life event raised $277,000 this year. Without the generous help and support of all these special donations, consisting of food products, water, ice and various beverages, many miscellaneous supplies, ad space and event postings, and many hours of time by various city of Antioch and Antioch High School personnel, these well-received Relay events cannot be realized.
Many hours were spent by our committees trying to best utilize the donations and supplies, and keep costs down, so that all funds raised could be used to provide the programs and research needed to benefit those who are now battling the various types of this disease called cancer.
We offer our heartfelt thanks to our team captains, Relay members and our many volunteers, who have given their time and energy in being so supportive of this East County Relay event. Our thanks to the many families and friends who joined us by participating in the many activities offered during the two-day relay.
Special thanks to our Event Chair, Carol Huff, and to the various committee chairpersons and their hardworking committees for a job well done.
In all the different ways of involvement in this year's 2006 Relay event, you have made a tremendous and successful effort toward stopping the progression of this terrible illness, an illness that quite possibly can be thwarted in the very near future.
The Seventh Annual Relay for Life 2006 was a wonderful success - thanks to all
American Cancer Relay for Life 2006