Where's the Turf?

By Griffin Johnson

Editor in Chief

Where’s the construction? Where’s all the digging? Where’s the turf?

During the last scholastic year, the Jamesville-DeWitt Community Grounds for Action Coalition was unable to reach their goal of raising $1.6 million dollars for the construction of a new turf facility by the April 2013 deadline, leaving many students, athletes and parents disappointed.

But there is still hope for the turf lovers of the J-D community. After the deadline wasn’t met, the J-D School Board granted the committee an extension, pushing the deadline back to Nov. 1, 2013. 
This extension was expected by the J-DCGAC and actually worked out for the group, according to Amy Burns, a board member of the coalition.

In order to be able to receive tax deductible donations, the group had to apply to be 501c3 corporation. But their application was delayed in its process due to a conflict with the IRS. 
The extension gave the group the time necessary to fix the problem by joining up with JDYAA.

“We’re partnered with the Turf Campaign so they can take advantage of our not-for-profit status, which means that donations are tax deductible,” said JDYAA President Eric Johnson. “They tried to initially establish themselves as a 501c3 corporation, but you have to make application through the state, and you have to make federal tax application too. The process can be slow,” Johnson said. “They asked us to be their sort-of sponsor for that part of things. (Now) money will be donated through JDYAA for the Turf Campaign,” he said.

Now that the J-DCGAC is accepting monetary donations instead of donation promises (which was the only accepted form prior to the partnership with JDYAA), their website features the option of donating to the campaign through the Paypal service. “We have been depositing donations everyday through paypal on our website and through the mail from all over the county and state!” says Burns. “We are also (still) accepting promissory notes up until Nov. 1,” she added. Along with the monetary donations and promises, the coalition is also taking “in-kind” donations, which are services or equipment that are donated to use in the construction instead of money, according to J-D Athletic Director John Goodson. “What I’m understanding is some of the construction materials are in-kind and some of the architectural services are in-kind,” says Mr. Goodson.

If the Nov. 1 deadline is reached, the J-D community will find themselves watching games on the new turf field by Sept. 2014, according to Burns, who believes that the group is well on their way to accomplishing that goal. “We are very hopeful! We are more than halfway to our $1.6 million dollar goal and waiting for some of our donors to make their final commitments,” says Burns; “We are fundraising throughout each neighborhood, corporation and committee in the Jamesville Dewitt community.” In fact, the campaign recently received a donation of $50,000 from Kevin Hulslander, the campaign president. “It has helped tremendously but will only be truly successful if everyone gives what they can by Nov. 1!” says Burns.