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Labbee Dedication Plaque Eyed For Adams' Renfrew Field

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
09:15PM / Tuesday, October 02, 2012
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The rock has already been delivered to Renfrew Field.
ADAMS, Mass. — The rock is in place.

Now, the Selectmen just have to approve a dedication plaque for Dana Labbee at the new basketball court at Renfrew Field.

A large stone was installed near the park and Dana Labbee Basketball League organizers are finishing the final details on a plaque that will dedicate the court to the Hoosac Valley High School athlete and honor student who was killed in a 2010 car crash.

Labbee almost immediately became the inspiration behind a summer youth league that has grown tremendously in just two years.

The Parks Commission will bring the plans to the Board of Selectmen for approval later this month. The commission has worked with league President Gregory Charon to make sure the plaque will not overshadow the stone dedicating the Babe Ruth field to longtime youth sports leader Ugo C. Balardini.

Balardini led the Adams Babe Ruth League for three decades and served eight years on the Parks Commission.

The commission members said they support the project as long as the plaque is about the same size as Balardini's and the stone remains right where it is placed — next to the basketball court.

"The plaque will not go on the rock until you see it," Charon told the commission on Tuesday.

Commission members initially were concerned that the rock would be placed too close to the Balardini dedication or that it would be too large. After the stone was installed, commission members said it did not take anything away from the other dedication.

Commission member James Fassell suggested having the Department of Public Works dig underneath the stone to lower because it is larger than the Balardini one but the rest of the commission disagreed.

The basketball court was expanded earlier this summer to support the league's growth by Adams Excavation and Lane Construction. The plaque will dedicate the court to the town's youth in memory of Labbee.

The Parks Commission is also making the installation of a sprinkler system and upkeep on the Valley Street Field a priority for next year's budget.

The Adams Soccer Club has asked for the town to bring the field up to snuff after "overusage" and offered to pay a portion of the cost for the sprinkler system. Additionally, league President Stephen Vigna hopes the town will upgrade the field itself and create a future maintenance plan that will outline the tasks for both the town and the league.

"Overusage of the field is the primary reason why it is shot," Fassell said.

Vigna said the league can play only road games for a season or move their games to another field while the work is being done.

Tags: dedication,   Labbee League,   sports fields,   youth sports,   

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