AWest is about to get a lot more a’track’tive
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The current track at Arvada West High School is fifty-three years old–literally as old as the school–and is only one lane, made of rock, gravel, and cinder. However, the Friends of the Wildcats Foundation is working to change that.
The Friends of the Wildcats Foundation has partnered with the City of Arvada to apply for a grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), a voter-created organization that uses a portion of the state’s lottery proceeds for preservation of Colorado’s outdoors. GOCO has also awarded grants to cities to build playgrounds and outdoor tracks, as in the case of AWest.
In order to be eligible for the grant, which is worth $350,000, the Foundation must raise $125,000, according to Barb McEahern, founder and president of the Foundation. McHern states that the Foundation currently has $47,000 in cash, but believes that “this is fully within our reach with our events and banner sponsorships that we have in place. The more we can get the word out to our community, the more support and money we can bring in to succeed.”
The grant will not only help to build a purple, all-weather track to replace the current one at AWest but will also include “new bleachers, sidewalks for better ADA accessibility, a new baseball infield, 2 additional tennis courts, updating the softball fields, adding restroom facilities and a new snack shack for all the teams to share” says McEahern.
The title of the grant is “Arvada West Community Track” with an emphasis on “community.” Not only would AWest students benefit, but “neighbor citizens of AWest, the 4 elementary schools within a 10 minute walk, senior living homes, local organized youth clubs like AMFA football, RMSL lacrosse, CARA track and YMCA will all be able to utilize our new community track,” says McEahern.
McEahern says the Friends of the Wildcats Foundation was started in August 2015 as a vision of the AWest Athletic Director Mike Mulvaney. “He realized a need for improvements with sports and there was no money to achieve this. So our mission is to raise money for capital improvements to the athletic department AND help individual sports teams with their fundraising efforts by providing additional money for their needs”.
The Foundation has several upcoming fundraisers for the grant, including a winter event called “Night with the Wildcats” featuring a keynote speaker, auction, dinner, and music and a LuLa Roe Pop-Up Boutique on November 4 from 3:00-7:00 pm in the commons at Arvada West where a portion of each purchase will be donated to the Foundation.