Clarksville Dixie Youth Raising Funds for New Lights, Improvements

Dan Wilbourne (right) accepts $3,500 in donations for the Clarksville Dixie Youth Facilities Enhancement Drive from Terri and John Lee. The organization is currently raising funds to take advantage of a $20,000 match from an anonymous donor that will allow them to install new lighting and make several other improvements to the baseball and softball facilities on Woodland Drive.  Donations from both businesses and individuals are welcome and appreciated and can be sent to Clarksville Dixie Youth, Inc. at P.O. Box 522, Clarksville, VA 23927. For additional information about the drive or to find out how you can help and contribute, please contact the organization at clarksvilledixieyouth@gmail.com., or call Dan Wilbourne at (434) 210-1286.

The Clarksville Dixie Youth organization has announced a campaign to raise funds for improvements to Shaver Field and the softball field on Woodland Drive in Clarksville. Dan Wilbourne, who serves as the organization’s president, indicates that funds raised by the drive will be used to enhance the Clarksville fields which are home to both baseball and softball leagues for girls and boys ranging from 5 to 18 years of age, and play in six different leagues designated by ages. He also announced that the fundraising drive is anchored by a match of $20,000 secured by John and Terri Lee from an anonymous donor. The match of $20,000 will be granted when and if the organization can raise that same amount. Wilbourne indicated that the Lee’s approached the organization about the effort because of their concern about the future of youth sports following the pandemic.

When contacted about the campaign, John Lee stated, “Terri and I, along with a very generous donor, and numerous other people we know, are concerned that organized youth sports could become a casualty of the COVID pandemic, and that kids will not have the opportunities to learn life lessons that can only be learned by being a part of a team, and winning, and losing.” He added, “Bright new lights for night games, and enhanced facilities, will help in getting kids back on the field, and getting parents to make the substantial commitment for them to participate.”

“We met with the officers and trustees of Clarksville Dixie Youth and as we had hoped, they are a dedicated group of individuals who do not shy away from hard work and are realistic about decisions that will impact their organization,” Lee commented, adding “We couldn’t be more confident that this organization will do everything possible to put kids back on the field and work to give the community’s youth two great fields to play on and the facilities they need to be successful.” The Lees also submitted to the organization over $3,500 towards the match in the form of checks they collected from Charles and Pat Lee, Larry’s Paint and Body Shop, and their personal contribution to the drive.

New lights for the two fields are the highest priority for the organization and league officials are already working with two athletic field light manufacturers on costs and designs. The contacts for the manufacturers were provided by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC). MEC has experience in installing athletic field lights after undertaking a similar project for the baseball field in Wylliesburg. That effort, by all accounts, was a resounding success for that community. MEC worked directly with the manufacturer on that project and will likely serve in a similar the for the Clarksville Dixie Youth project. “We are pleased to have MEC as our technical partner in the lighting project, they have great experience in installing these lights and have already been invaluable in helping us get started on this significant project,” Wilbourne added.

MEC has also agreed to install the lights and position them according to the lighting design provided by the manufacturer. Lee indicated that MEC’s line crew workers are always willing to donate their time to great causes, especially those that benefit our community’s youth, and the cooperative would provide the equipment needed to get the job done, saving the baseball organization additional funds for the project. Lee added, “Our cooperative is pleased to support youth sports and we’re proud that our employees are willing to give generously of their time and skills to benefit the community.”

Additional improvements the organization hopes to undertake with funds from this drive and future contributions include a press box for the softball field with restrooms on the ground floor, concrete walkways between the fields and concrete under the softball bleachers, a new lawnmower with bagger, loud speakers for both fields, fencing to separate the parking area from the fields, new flooring in the concession stand and a walk-in cooler for the concession stand.

“We are excited about the future of our park and the leagues that call it home, and we are committed to taking advantage of this very generous offer to match funds if we can raise the $20,000 needed to do so,” Wilbourne said, adding, “we’ll work as hard as is necessary to raise the funds and we are excited about the pending improvements that will be made possible by this drive.”

Following a successful Boston Butt sale recently, the organization also plans to raise funds by holding raffles, a Hit-a-Thon, 50-50 drawings, a donut and/or pizza fundraiser, pitching and hitting clinics, baseball and softball tournaments, a reverse raffle at the VFW or community center, and through concession stand sales. Additionally, donations from both businesses and individuals are welcome and can be sent to Clarksville Dixie Youth, Inc. at P.O. Box 522, Clarksville, VA 23927. For additional information about the drive or to find out how you can help and contribute, please contact the organization at clarksvilledixieyouth@gmail.com., or call Dan Wilbourne at (434) 210-1286.

“We invite our community to support this very worthy effort and to come out and join us for a game or two…we also vow that if you contribute to this drive, every dollar will go towards providing safe, functional and attractive facilities where kids can thrive and do something that’s been missing far too long…have fun with their friends,” Wilbourne stressed, adding, “Clarksville Dixie Youth is looking forward to starting up the season and to working with those who are interested in contributing to an effort that brings value to our community, and we thank all in advance for their support.”