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Open Mike: Eden’s efforts yield needed scoreboard, sound system

NEW SCOREBOARD — Eden had its new scoreboard for Saturday’s home game against Alden. Photo by Ron Larson.

The question Eden athletic director Marisa Fallacaro repeatedly heard from many of her student-athletes throughout the summer was: “When are we going to get a new scoreboard?”

The football team, along with the soccer and lacrosse teams that occasionally take to the field, had endured nearly an entire year of blown-out bulbs on an outdated scoreboard and listening to a sound system that was no longer fully functional.

Fallacaro, also a basketball and softball coach at the school, said she realized how much Eden athletes took pride in how they played their sports and represented their school, and she said administrators, the community and school’s all-sports boosters wanted to return that favor by providing pride in the facilities in which the athletes played their games.

So, in just a 90-day period, a fundraising effort yielded enough money to replace the scoreboard and sound system at the football field. Football players heard their names clearly called out over the PA system for the first time in nearly a year, during last week’s home opener, and the scoreboard was hoisted up in time for this past Saturday’s big game with Alden.

“It’s heartbreaking, coming here and seeing no working scoreboard and a muffled sound,” Fallacaro said. “The kids give all of their effort, so it was important to get this up as quick as possible so that they could have it. The excitement they had with just the sound was amazing and this week, on Wednesday, when the scoreboard was delivered, the kids all helped get it off the truck — they got all excited.”

Eden students help unload the new scoreboard when it arrives at the school Wednesday. Photos courtesy of Eden High School.

Led by boosters’ president Jack Cuddihy, momentum was built for the project and fundraising donors, big and small, came forward to assist. The district also threw in some of the funding, which came to approximately $25,000.

“We don’t have huge teams, but if the kids have Eden across their chest, they play with such pride and we need to support them back, so they can be proud of their facility and their environment,” said Cuddihy, who has three kids in the district.

Fallacaro also credited a change in administration – Sandra Anzalone was named superintendent at the start of the school year – in getting past some of the initial red tape. She said that getting the booster club involved was essential and she could not say enough about the community’s support.

“We finally have administration, board and boosters interested in getting these things done,” Fallacaro said. “We’re having meetings about how we can make everything better. I think we’re already very successful for a small school, and this is really great.”

Some of the project’s larger sponsors included Father Sam Bakery of Buffalo, Tim Hortons, Evenhouse Printing and Zittel Farms, along with many parents and business owners’ asking what is needed.

“The game day experience is so much different now,” said Cuddihy, who initially volunteered as the vice president, but was thrust into a leadership position with the boosters’ not having a president. “Truly, bigger things are planned as well. As we gain momentum, there’s a lot on the docket.”

Between its arrival on Thursday and Saturday\\\'s game, the scoreboard as hoisted up and ready when Eden took to the field against Alden. Photos courtesy of Eden All Sports Boosters

Now, Fallacaro is getting the same questions from her athletes who play indoor sports and she is happy to tell them that the school’s next mission is to make similar upgrades inside its facilities.

“One hour of celebration and now we’re on to the next project, because the wrestlers, volleyball and basketball kids deserve it, too,” Fallacaro said. ‘You know, we’re going to keep going — go big or go home.”

She said that, one day, she hopes to say the same thing to those who ask her, “When will Eden have a turf field and lights?”

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