CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – When Chappaqua Turf Committee member Steffi Green passed through Harrison last fall, she was “emotionally struck” by the banners that hang on streetlights throughout the town.
Now, she and The Chappaqua Turf Committee are hoping to bring similar decorative flags to New Castle.
Harrison's are crimson with a husky in the middle. New Castle's banners would most likely be dressed in Horace Greeley High School's colors of blue and orange, along with its Quaker mascot.
“They give an incredible sense of spirit and a real sense of community,” she said.
“I just drove under banner, after banner after banner. They highlighted different athletes, different teams, businesses in town and it was simply amazing. I thought, ‘Wow, I would love something like this in our town.’”
Green and the TCTC — which had 4 other members in attendance at New Castle Town Board’s Tuesday night work session — are proposing the concept of selling flags/banners to raise money for its own mission: installing a turf field complete with bleachers in place of an existing grass field.
The group, founded in 2011, has raised $715,00 but is $385,000 short of its $1 million goal, with an additional $325,000 needed for proper lighting.
If the Town Board were to approve the banner campaign idea, those numbers would be more attainable, she said.
After calling Harrison and doing research, Green learned the town makes more than $16,000 a year by selling banners.
The cost to make each banner is about $110 plus another $30 for hanging brackets. The committee was not sure how much it would charge per banner, but had a figure higher than the $225 Harrison charges in mind, Green said.
Harrison, which leaves the banners up August through December, put up 160 banners last year and plans to hang more next year. The Chappaqua committee would like to hang New Castle banners throughout the academic school year and would hang as many as the town would allow.
Green said she envisioned the banners “bracketing” New Castle along Route 117 and Route 120, rather than being in downtown.
“I think the more that are hung, the more community spirit we could possibly have in this town,” said committee member Susan Spar. “And we can forge this village that I think we’re all kind of seeking. It would be a great way to combine school spirit and the merchants.”
The committee is looking at the banners as a way to get its project back on track, while also adding something positive to the community.
“To give a little back drop, we had undergone a very large turf field effort and, at some point, it hit a wall,” said member Mara Weissman. “What we’re trying to do now is rebrand that effort, so that it is really a focus of the community, honoring the children and providing an opportunity to come together."
The New Castle Town Board had little immediate feedback Tuesday night but advised the group to seek the support of local merchants and the Chappaqua-Millwood Chambers of Commerce. The board also said the group should determine the logistics of hanging banners on state-owned roads such as Route 117 and Route 120.
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