Portola Valley: Fundraising campaign begins for Ford Field

Community fundraising has begun for a $540,000 project to rehabilitate Ford Field, the Little League baseball diamond at the corner of Alpine Road and Westridge Drive in Portola Valley.

The Sand Hill Foundation in Menlo Park, on behalf of the family of Susan Ford Dorsey, is offering donors from the community an opportunity to match its $100,000 Ford Family Challenge Gift, according to Interim Assistant Town Manager Barbara Powell and an April 5 statement from the town.

Ms. Ford was at one time and may still be a resident of Portola Valley. Ms. Powell said she was not sure and that the town is engaging with the foundation on the challenge donation.

Some $230,000 in reimbursement money would come from the state which, despite its budget problems, has more or less agreed to the grants after an on-again-off-again dialog about reimbursements that began in 2002, Ms. Powell said.

The town is also asking the Alpine West Menlo Little League, the field's only organized user, to raise its contribution to $75,000 from the original $50,000. The town is seeking the remaining $135,000 from the community at large.

Go to this link to make an online donation. Donors have already begun to come forward, Ms. Powell told the Almanac.

The upgrades to the field include re-grading, a new irrigation system, new dugouts, backstop, bleachers and batting cage, and better paths to the parking lots, Ms. Powell said. Construction is set to begin in mid-June.

Not to be upgraded or to have its status quo threatened in any way is the hollowed out but still upright and beloved oak tree that resides along the first base line.

Another major donor "expressed initial interest in potentially undertaking the project on his own, perhaps including (a) snack shack, bathrooms and other amenities, (but) to date these discussions have not culminated in a confirmation that he intends to pursue the project," Ms. Powell told the Almanac.


Like this comment
Posted by You are kidding
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Apr 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

You mean to tell us that the state which is removing funding of students activities in poor school districts is giving $230,000 to one of the wealthiest communities in California so a few hundred children can play on one of our many play areas? This has to be a mistake and I intend to make sure Rep Gordon knows about this outrageous use of state funds. This is truly hard to stomach or believe.

Like this comment
Posted by Some perspective
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2012 at 12:03 am

No need to get your panties in a bunch. These are funds allocated as part of 2002 Proposition 40 approved expenditures. I believe the majority of the grant is from Prop 40's Per Capita Grant Program under which 22 towns and cities in San Mateo County are receiving funding. None of this money could legally be redistributed to the general fund.

As far as assuaging your conscience, a majority fraction of Park related funding from Prop 40 provides priority preference to urban underserved and economically challenged neighborhoods.

While I personally support a progressive tax system, I do not consider it unreasonable for even an affluent community to be included in a per capita capital grant program.

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