By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Shrewsbury – As a room packed with supporters of the Shrewsbury High School (SHS) athletic department looked on, Dave L’Ecuyer, president and CEO of Central One Federal Credit Union announced at the May 10 school committee meeting that the bank had decided to make a sponsorship gift of $750,000 to the SHS synthetic turf field project.
“If you profess to make a commitment to the community then you need to back that up with action,” L’Ecuyer said. “We appreciate all that Shrewsbury has done for our business.”
In thanking L’Ecuyer for the generous donation, Dr. Joseph Sawyer noted that the bank had “always been a major sponsor of SHS athletics”.
“But this is the single largest donation every made to Shrewsbury schools,” he added. “It’s such a huge commitment and an unbelievable partnership.”
In November 2016, the Shrewsbury School Committee approved a recommendation to replace the stadium field at SHS with a synthetic turf field, repave the surrounding track and make other general repairs to the field area. The project’s cost is estimated to be just over $2 million, officials said. The town’s voters previously approved and appropriated $285,000 to fund the resurfacing of the track with the remaining $1.8 million balance for the synthetic turf project to be raised through corporate sponsorships and private donations from individuals and companies.
According to a statement released after the May 10 meeting, “naming rights will be conferred and upon completion of the project the stadium will be named Central One Federal Credit Union Stadium. The synthetic turf field with the Central One Federal Credit Union logo emblazoned will be the centerpiece of the improved sports complex.”
The members of the school committee also offered their thanks to L’Ecuyer for the generous gift.
“This is different – it’s never been done before,” Sandra Fryc, said of the size of the donation. “But your organization supports the school constantly, day to day. You do it all the time.”
Jason Palitsch agreed, adding that “it’s part of a pattern of you always giving back to the community.”
James and Paula Buonomo, the co-chairs of the Campaign for Shrewsbury Athletic Fields, commented as well.
“As longtime residents of Shrewsbury, we have always taken great pride in being a family of Colonials and being dedicated supporters of Shrewsbury athletics. As co-chairs of the Fundraising Committee, we are thrilled that Central One Federal Credit Union has brought us one step closer to our dream of creating a state-of-the-art athletic complex for our community and a much needed asset for our town,” they said in a statement.
Central One has made other significant donations to the school system, including $20,000 for each of the past four year to SHS athletics and hosting a multi-class financial literacy bootcamp for students. The bank also donated $25,000 to the Shrewsbury Public Library Foundation’s Building for the Future Capital Campaign.
Central One is a not-for-profit financial institution headquartered in Shrewsbury, with branches in Westborough, Northborough, and Auburn as well as student-run school branches in both Shrewsbury and Westborough high schools.