'Friends Of McKinney Field' Close to Completing Turf Fundraising - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

'Friends Of McKinney Field' Close to Completing Turf Fundraising Campaign

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GRAFTON -

If you're from Grafton or Taylor County, you've probably heard about McKinney Field.

A group has been raising money to replace the beat up football field.

Now, thanks to community and alumni support, it has almost reached its $300,000 goal.

It's been a couple of months since the group "Friends of McKinney Field" started raising money to replace its grass with turf.

A drainage issue makes it extremely wet and muddy when it rains, causing games to be canceled and kids to be injured.

"McKinney Field was in terrible condition," said John Bord, Friends of McKinney Field. "Our children were being hurt on the field. There wasn't a lot we could do for the field. We tried, the Board of Education tried. It just got to the point where there was too many events on McKinney Field and we had to do something."

Smash mouth football, diving in mud, and fumbles. Some may say a muddy field is what 'Friday Night Lights' is all about.

But when a storm in 2012 flooded McKinney Field before a playoff game, residents knew something needed to be done.

"At that point in time there were probably between 30-40 individuals who took the day off from work and got that field ready for that playoff game," said Dr. Joseph Findley, Grafton High School Principal. "They used a lot of kitty litter to try and dry that water up."

The group said a new turf field is the solution to the problem.

"I can visualize the opportunity for almost every sport we have to use that facility," said Rich Bord, Grafton High School Athletic Director.

"It becomes another teaching area as well," Dr. Findley added. "The band can practice there. We can have open aired types of plays and things like that in good weather."

The new turf field will cost more than $600,000 and the group "Friends of McKinney Field" has to raise $300,000 on its own.

"Grafton has always been a place that pulls itself up by its bootstraps. It's a blue collar town. When there is a need they buckle down and help themselves," said Dan Mankins, Friends of McKinney Field.

The group sent 4,000 letters to Grafton alumni and will hold a benefit concert next week.

"Taylor Made will be here on Wednesday the 27th of March," Mankins said. "The doors will open at 6. The lead in band will be a local band called Shadrach."

With the concert and the generosity of Grafton's alumni base, the $300,000 goal should be met next week.

"We do have a large number of ticket sales out there," John Bord said. "We still have tickets remaining. Taylor Made, it's just unbelievable. This community is such an unbelievable place."

If you would like to purchase tickets to the Taylor Made concert or learn more about Friends of McKinney Field, visit its Facebook Page.

You can also call 304-669-0529. Tickets will be sold at the door. McKinney Field is expected to be completed by the first football game of the season.