Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Town of Bridgton's BRAG Hosts Chamber After Hours

The Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group was founded in 1997 in response to growing community interest in developing recreational facilities and programs to serve the entire community.

Bridgton Printery owner, Robby Bergeron speaks with
 Bridgton Town Manager, Mitch Berkowitz

   On Thursday June 27 The Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce of Commerce held an After Hours at Bridgton's Ham Recreation Complex. They showed local business leaders just how much progress they have made and also discussed plans for the future. 

   The Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group was founded in 1997 in response to growing community interest in developing recreational facilities and programs to serve the entire community. A volunteer organization, BRAG has worked with local groups including the Bridgton Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Network for Coordinating Services for Elders and the Bridgton Congregational Church Outreach Committee to get a lot done!

Laurie Carter-Bergin Memorial Field

We’ve helped the
community establish gymnasiums, helped create a multi-generation center at the Bridgton Armory, sponsored Pondicherry Days’ Iron Kid competition and initiated the annual 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament, which has been running strong since 1998! One of the group’s greatest accomplishments came to fruition when, in 2005, we held a grand opening for the Bridgton Skate Park.

Anne Krieg, Nellie Ely,
 Harry Corthell and Jamie Hook

   But the Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group’s greatest project to date is the Bridgton Community Recreation Complex. The Field was designed in 2006 around a 15.5 acre parcel of land donated by Ed and Rex Rolfe. More land came soon after, when first the town and then Ed donated additional acres, creating a total field area of over 21 acres. This would be enough land to build the facility we dreamt of. It truly is, as the Bridgton News’ Mike Corrigan put it, “One heck of a deal”. 

   The Bridgton Community Recreation Complex will feature lighted fields for football, soccer, softball, and baseball, with 4 tennis courts, 2 basketball courts and a walking path that will circle the entire complex.
   Though a lot of work has already been done, the Recreation Complex is in its early phases. Cost estimates for lighting and construction have been collected. The retention ponds have been designed, the field has been cleared, and initial funds have been raised. Grant applications have been filled out, providing us with thousands of dollars of free money - but only if we can raise matching funds through community donations.

Infield groomed and ready to go!

But why donate money to a town program? Because the Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group is NOT a town program. We have 501 c-3 status – in other words, we’re entirely volunteer driven. This is how we plan to bring a $2 million dollar field project to the region for a fraction of that cost and at practically no cost at all to the town. But we need help. We ask that community members donate time, lend their business to the local businesses who support us, and make whatever financial contributions they are capable of.

The Brag thanks its generous sponsors!

One way we are requesting donations is through sponsorship of one of our many athletic fields. Any community group or member can put his or her name on one of our fields, or on the entire complex. We are also selling benches and walking path stones which can be engraved with your name or the name of your family. Every dollar will go towards further developing this complex for community members of today and in the future.

The Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group meets at the Bridgton Town Office on the second Wednesday of every month at 7 PM. Please join us to see what we’re doing and find out how you can help this project happen.

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