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Sue Bush
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Get In Practice For Elections: Vote North Adams

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, August 02, 2006

North Adams - City residents are being asked to cast e-mail "ballots" that could boost the chances that the city and the Greylock Athletic Complex can be this year's Granite City Electric Supply Company's "Field of Dreams III" winner.

The city is one of about 65 New England communities vying for a standard size junior baseball diamond lighting prize package valued at up to $100,000. The contest was launched by the Quincy-headquartered company in 2004, after the company began a long-term business relationship with Fenway Park. The contest is open to New England-based junior baseball and softball fields used for children age 12 and under, according to contest rules.

The electric supply company has stores in Pittsfield, Bennington, Vt. and southeastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.

The Greylock Athletic Complex hosts the Daniel J. Alcombright Field, Fallon Field, and additional, currently under-construction fields. The winning community must agree to erect lights at a field that hosts organized youth baseball or softball play.

Find That Voting Spirit!

Local business owner and City Councilor Christopher Tremblay is urging area residents to "get into the spirit" of the contest.

One vote per valid e-mail address is permitted. A computer voting mechanism was opened on Aug. 1 and will continue to accept votes until Sept. 15. To cast votes for the city, visit a www.granitecityelectric.com/special/survey.php Internet web site and click on "Field of Dreams III" for voting information.

"There's a link to click on and you'll put in an e-mail address," Tremblay said. "The important thing is to open a return e-mail; that's what makes the vote count."

Tremblay owns a Union Street electrical contracting firm and has a business relationship with the sponsoring company. He believes that the city could benefit from the lighting package and is among those who launched the city's submission to the contest. An entry packet that included a letter from city Parks and Recreation Department commissioners and photos of the complex was submitted. The city is now listed among the communities participating in the contest.

Communities that generate a minimum of 1,500 e-mail votes are entered into a prize drawing. For every 1,500 votes received, another drawing entry is created. For example, a community that generated 4,500 valid e-mail votes would be entered into the prize drawing three times. A winner will be pulled during a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, possibly on Sept. 26.

The lighting package includes lighting setup materials for 60' base paths and 220' and under outfield fence as well as the labor needed for installation. The Reflex Lighting Group and the Glynn Electric firm, both of the southeastern Massachusetts area, are also supporters of the contest and contribute to the prize package.

Participating in the contest could keep voting in the forefront of people's minds, Tremblay said.

"Think of it as practice for the upcoming elections," he said.

Money Where His Mouth Is

In addition to voting, Tremblay said he is supportive of initiating a matching funds campaign to benefit the Greylock Athletic Complex if the city is the Field of Dreams winner.

During the 2005 city election campaign, Tremblay stated publicly that he would donate a councilor stipend to city betterment if he were elected. He has not forgotten that pledge, he said.

"I am willing to donate $1,500 to the complex, contingent on the city winning, and I'm hoping others will," he said. "People could make a donation contingent on our winning. That could encourage people to vote, too."

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.
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