Friday, June 08, 2007

Barrow to Get Blue Turf

Move over Boise State. You have competition. The Broncos' blue artificial surface will not stand alone in the football world. The Barrow High Whalers are about to get a blue turf, according the Cathy Parker of the site Project Alaska Turf.

The move to blue was a cost decision, according to Parker, a Jacksonville-area accountant who has been spearheading the movement to raise $500,000 to have an artificial field installed in July next to the Arctic Ocean.

The Whalers, who were training in the Lower 48 the past month, headed home Thursday and by all accounts, their visit was a smashing success. The team arrived last month in Jacksonville, and trained with Bartram High, which includes Clemson commitment Kyle Parker, son of Cathy Parker (listen to our radio interview with Cathy by clicking here). Players also frolicked on the beach and went to Disney World.

"They left here and traveled to Nashville where they participated in another camp," Parker writes. "Seven of the Whalers started in the scrimmage held on the last day of that camp. They sat down with the Governor of Tennessee before departing for their trip out West."

The team ended up in Chadron, Neb., and participated in a camp at Chadron State College. Then the Whalers packed up and headed for Denver and the return trip to Barrow.

Although Parker's fundraising efforts remain short of the $500,000 goal and she continues to ask for donations, Barrow officials have agreed to meet the difference to get the artificial turf installed.

4 comments:

BOB THOMAS said...

IDIOTIC WASTE OF MONEY. THE TURF, NO MATTER WHAT COLOR IT IS, WILL BE RUINED IN SIX MONTHS. THEN WHAT DO WE DO WITH IT? IF THERE IS A TURF MANUFACTURER OUT THERE THAT CAN WARRANTY THEIR PRODUCT TO WITHSTAND EIGHT MONTHS OF SUBZERO TEMPERATURES AND FOUR MONTHS OF 24 HOUR SUNLIGHT, I'D LIKE TO MEET THEM. MEANWHILE A THOUSAND KIDS GO WITHOUT AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS, COUNSELLING SERVICES, AND LIBRARIANS SO 25 BOYS CAN PLAY FOOTBALL. SOUNDS LIKE QUITE A DEAL!

Anonymous said...

How does a project totally funded by outside sources,have any effect on how the rest of the school budget is spent?
The manufacturer is donating the turf for the field and the labor for the installation. I doubt they would go to that expense if they were not confident their product will hold up,and that they are going to get a lot of good press out of the donation.
I am Cathy Parker's brother ,and I have seen first hand the good this has done for this group of kids and hopefully for generations more if she can pull this off.She has raised alomost $400,000 mostly in small donations from people that hear about the project and give $20 bucks.Although the project has had very little in media exposure ,every time a new article gets written a few thousand rolls in. If she is successful every news group in the country will be sending a camera crew ,and the project should be fully funded and hopefully have a nice surplus to sustain the program.The team was in Denver when they got the email from Cathy telling them that the field was going to be blue. She included a computer generated picture of what the field would look like , and the team was shown a slide picture at a dinner they were having at the hotel. The kids cheered so loud the they had to apologize to the other patrons and explain what was going on. Cathy asked the kids "what did the people do?" The reply was "they started pulling out their wallets and gave us money". If nothing else this current class of Whalers has had the experience of a lifetime.The field may solve a lot of problems for the town of Barrow and it may not.But as my old coach used to say" stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result".

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that we live in America!! People are nice and generous and then there are those miserable people that are so negative. Did you know that Mr. Thomas is the Recreation Director for the City of Barrow Recreation Program. He's paid a hefty amount and yet Barrow never sees any vital programs growing. I thank the people of America outside the North Slope who have BIG Hearts to give to our community and our future. Don't mind some of these people that just complain and don't try to make a difference in a child's life. Yeah, and Mr. Thomas's son plays football too...
I believe that our leaders and politicians in our region are smart people and they'll figure something out, but this is what the kids want, and what parents want for their kids, I applaud them for going forth even with all the negativity that they get... Just don't stumble over them while you keep going up that mountain. Yay...I can't wait until the season starts...just wait...Mr. Thomas will be on the sideline cheering....

Anonymous said...

I'm going to make sure that my grandkids remember the people of Florida for their generosity, hospitality and big hearts!!

Quyanaqpak!!! Thank you very much!!