DIXFIELD — Friday night football will be a reality when fall rolls around, thanks to the generosity of supporters of Dirigo High School’s sports program.

Alan Orcutt, site manager for the local Irving Forest Products plant, received a round of applause at Monday’s selectmen’s when Scott Holmes, head of the Dirigo Boosters’ lighting subcommittee, announced that Irving would donate the remaining funds needed to install lights at the high school’s football and soccer field.

Orcutt said the owner of the New Brunswick-based firm, J.D. Irving, approved donating $20,000 to the project.

The entire project is expected to cost $75,000, and does not include the cost of labor.

All of that will be donated by Holmes, Mark Thompson, Scott Blaisdell and dozens of others who have offered to help make night games possible.

Another small business, Whittemore Property Management, is owned by Dirigo graduate, Dana Whittemore. His company donated $5,000 toward the project.

Townspeople last month approved taking $50,000 from the Ione Harlow Community Fund. At that time, Holmes said the Dirigo Boosters lighting subcommittee would begin fund raising, and it was uncertain whether a sufficient amount of money would be raised in time for the next fall sports season.

“This will be a huge benefit for football and soccer,” said Holmes, a 1985 graduate of Dirigo and a coach.

Orcutt said his company has frequently donated to community projects. This one is one of the largest.

“Irving supports Dirigo High School and likes to be a partner with the town,” Orcutt said.

Holmes said that although the $75,000 is enough to buy the lights and associated equipment, his committee will continue to raise funds so that any contingencies will be covered, as well as to provide greater security for the field’s neighbors. He said signs may be purchased, additional lights installed on the edge of the baseball field, and parking management needs may be bought.

The family of one of Dirigo’s most enthusiastic supporters, Bettina Martin, asked that those who were considering flowers for her funeral, make a donation to the lights fund, something Holmes said is a wonderful gesture.

Holmes said the lighting project committee is also planning a celebration dance, with proceeds to go to the lighting project. The committee also will ask other businesses for donations.

Anyone who wants to make a donation may call Holmes at 357-4738.

[email protected]


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