"Without support and funding from Harvest, we would be unable to develop, promote and sustain initiatives to address health issues and work toward a healthier future for Martinsville and Henry County. "
- Barbara Jackman, Executive Director - MHC Coalition for Health and Wellness
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Build new sports complex

June 8, 2005

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - JUNE 8, 2005

Build new sports complex

I would like to respond to the May 19 letter titled "Fix before building new." Ms. Helbert thinks existing recreational facilities should be fixed up before putting funding toward a new facility.

I am one of the original members of the Martinsville Area Sports Complex Steering Committee and have lived in this area for the past 20 years. I my opinion, a major problem with our community has been a lack of foresight and resolve, and a willingness to accept the status quo. Far too often we appear to be satisfied with a Band-Aid approach, rather than take ourselves to the next level. I have seen numerous issues divide this community over the years and I am hopeful this is an initiative that will receive widespread appeal and support.

?There can be no argument that our basketball and soccer facilities are insufficient. There is constant overcrowding and scheduling for these facilities is very difficult. Additionally, putting on tournaments is a logistical nightmare, with all the venues that have to be utilized.

?I strongly believe we need new, larger facilities for these activities, not only to service the needs of our community, but also to attract outside economic benefits. We want to provide a facility that this community can take pride in and rally around. In addition to addressing the clear needs of our citizens, this facility will attract numerous tournaments that will draw thousands of visitors to our community and create much needed business for our hotels, motels, restaurants and retail establishments.

?What is also needed is the support from our community as this initiative progresses and becomes closer to a reality. We have heard many opinions of what is needed. Everyone has their agenda, but all needs cannot be met at once. We will continue to consider all the needs of the community, but what we need is for the community to believe in the project, because without your support, this project will not succeed. So many times we have gotten our hopes up over something good that might happen, only to have the rug pulled out from under us. This is a real opportunity to create a high profile, regionally promoted complex that will not only greatly enrich our own recreational pursuits, but also create attention and revenue from surrounding cities and counties.

?The Martinsville area is fortunate to be blessed with a terrific reputation for athletes, and regionally and nationally recognized teams. Many of our residents travel hundreds of miles to be able to participate in events that our area is not capable of handling. We need to provide facilities that are modern and capable of filling the growing needs of our community. Your support in making this initiative become a reality will make the difference in what is built or not built.

?I challenge and invite the leadership of the existing community facilities to work in a positive manner to modernize their facilities and synchronize their programs with a world class, state-of-the-art new sports complex here in Martinsville.
?Chett Bason
?Martinsville




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