Athletic Complex Chosen for Helping Hands in Action

Photo: The Thomas DiCenzo Athletic Complex was a chosen project for Enbridge's Helping Hands in Action, an honor that comes with an accompanying $1,000 grant. Workers and volunteers met at the park on Thursday, June 29th to complete upgrades to various projects. From left to right: Josh Lizzotte, Austin McLellan, Craig Morrison, Randy McCormick, Justin McCoubrey, Ken Sokoloski, Jason Smith, Dave Brown, Matt DeGrasse, Wes Ellington, and Lara Bailey.

By Lura Jackson

It isn’t unusual to see activity at the Thomas DiCenzo Athletic Complex, though the activities taking place on Thursday, June 30th were of a decidedly industrious nature. Eleven workers – and a few contributing pairs of smaller hands – set upon the park to complete a series of upgrades as part of the Enbridge Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline’s annual Helping Hands in Action campaign.

The workers, eight of which were from Enbridge and three of which were local volunteers, completed work on the centerpiece pavilion, the pool pump house, and the baseball and softball fields. A group of accompanying young children was delighted to help pick up refuse while exploring the grounds.

The pavilion, which was designed by students at Washington County Community College, built by students of St. Croix Regional Technical Center, and set on groundwork prepared by the Public Works department, had its finishing touches added by the crew. While the ridge caps had previously been acquired, the students ran out of time before they could add them, and it was too big of a job for the two-person staff (Craig Morrison and Austin McLellan) that maintains the complex in the summer. 

“Having a crew here really makes a difference,” said Morrison, the director of the city’s Recreation Department. “We got stuff done that we can’t do ourselves. We really got a lot accomplished.”

In addition to work on the pavilion, which is a popular spot for picnics and when it’s raining, the crew sheathed the pool pump house and put on a new roof, added foul poles to the fields, and did some work on the fences. To complete the tasks, Johnson’s True Value donated the use of its main lift and posthole digger. Materials needed for the jobs were purchased with the help of a $1,000 grant from Enbridge that accompanied its donation of workers.

“It’s good to get out and do something different,” said Ken Sokoloski, a supervisor from Enbridge. Sokoloski explained that Enbridge has offices and facilities throughout the US and Canada, and every year workers within the company are invited to propose projects that benefit local communities. This is the first project of the year for the company’s Brewer office. 

“Helping Hands in Action is enterprise-wide, so you’re talking thousands of projects and thousands of work hours,” said Lara Bailey of Enbridge. Bailey said that workers that elect to participate in the community projects are able to stay on the clock. 

The Athletic Complex was chosen and proposed by Jason Smith, a local pipeline employee. “I’ve got kids involved in the Rec department here,” Smith said. “I’ve seen firsthand that a little bit of help goes a long way.”

“It’s a great outreach on their part,” said volunteer Randy McCormick. “Any help we can get at the park is awesome.”