If you’ve ever been to a Newton Cardinal football game or heard the announcers over the loud speaker on a crisp fall evening, then you’re familiar with the long-standing Frank Gilson Pressbox at H.A. Lynn Stadium.
It’s a place where announcers, broadcasters, coaches from both teams and people running the clock have worked for many of years, and now it’s in need of renovation and repair.
To raise money for the pressbox, Newton Cardinal athletics supporter Archie Ergenbright organized the Celebrity Gas Pumping fundraising event that will not only support the facility, but in true Red Pride tradition, will get the community involved as well.
On Saturday, many loyal Cardinals will be participating in the fundraising event where supporters of the stadium can donate by filling up a gas tank or getting a car washed Hy-Vee Gas in Newton. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hy-Vee will be donating 2 cents for each gallon of gas pumped at the gas station that day, and don’t worry about doing any work. Former and current players, community leaders, athletic boosters and others involved in Newton Football will be there to pump gas throughout the day.
Besides filling up the gas tank, Archie organized a car wash supported by Newton Cardinal cheerleaders, Pacesetters, Mat Maids and NHS soccer and swim teams.
“Archie Ergenbright is in charge of the renovation funding, and he asked me if I would be a “‘celebrity’ at the event, and if I could get some swimmers to come help. First of all, there is no way I was going to turn down Archie. He is such a great guy and a good ambassador for Newton Athletics,” Newton girls swimming head coach Sarah Patterson said. “Second, this is a good cause. The stadium continues to be a source of pride and a rallying point for the community for many events, so I wanted to help out.”
The goal for the fundraiser is to raise $4,500, which will help fix rotted wooden doors, door frames, flooring, folding chairs and countertops and will provide new paint. Lighting also has been an issue as technology develops and lights will be replaced to accommodate various media affiliations and announcers.
“Our stadium has been remodeled in recent years with the turf field and track but the Frank Gilson Pressbox has been in need of improvements for sometime,” Newton football head coach Ed Ergenbright said. “It is used a lot in the fall and in the spring for both boys and girls athletics, and a lot of people would like to see it be brought up to date with the rest of the facility. I think it will be a fun event and I would encourage people to stop out Saturday.”
Supporters such as Mike Hansen, Scott Garvis, Bob Callaghan, Bill Triers, Bob McCormick, Gary Simpson, Dough Cupples, Tom Weeks, Avery Wilson, Craig Trotter, Scott Pritchard, Dan Kelley, Chad Hellenbeck, Lori Gilmore, Caral Bates, Peg Funke, Mark Allan, Mike Wood, Tyler Wood and Deonne Harris are scheduled to helped at the event.
Newton Hy-Vee Store Director Todd Fox said tips will be accepted, and for further donations, checks can be made payable to Archie Ergenbright with ‘Frank Gilson Pressbox Repair’ in notes and sent to Bank Iowa, P.O. Box 727, Newton, IA 50208.
“We hope your contribution helps you remember all the great times you had with the Newton Cardinals. The next time you walk into H.A. Lynn Stadium, you can look up into the pressbox with pride knowing you helped remodel this piece of history,” Archie said.
Staff writer Kate Malott may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 422, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.