Why do I support Restore ORR? The reason is simple: sports teams and drama clubs are the types of things that turn schools into communities. They are where relationships are formed beyond math class. They are where students learn to be coached, where captains learn to lead.

Personally, I am a different person because of high school athletics. High school and college wrestling changed my core. It provided me with grit that helped me break into and succeed in what is an ultra-competitive industry.

If spending an extra $20 in annual property taxes is going to help dozens of ORR teams and organizations for years to come, how could anyone not be excited about that? If Restore ORR is approved, I'd take pride that I played a part in ensuring that thousands of young men and women will be better people, earning their own grit and character, playing on fields and performing under lights that our families helped provide.

This is the true essence of community. It’s why I chose to raise my family here.

Selfishly, if you are a homeowner in the Tri-Town, you want Restore ORR to pass. Investing $20-$30 a YEAR in property taxes over the next 15 years will be an amazing return on investment when you go to sell your home. I challenge you to spend a better $450 between now and 2035 that will make such a dramatic difference in your resale value.

Photo courtesy of Restore ORR

Old Rochester Regional High School is on the brink of a major renovation project that would install turf and new LED lighting on the stadium field, a new track and grass field, and a modern day sound and lighting system for the auditorium.

As a parent of two Old Rochester students, I am strongly in support of this restoration project. As a Pop Warner football coach, I have stood on the sidelines over the course of many years and witnessed the deterioration of the playing field. The good news is that student athletic participation has seen incredible growth over the years. The bad news is that this has been the direct cause of the field getting ruined due to overuse. The field never gets a chance to catch it's breath before it is used and abused again. The result is what you see now: a dirt pit with the added peril of divets and holes that are begging for ankles to break and knees to blow out. The bare spots also increase the dangers of concussions.

The track is worn down to its tar base, causing areas to become slippery.

The ORR auditorium does not have a functioning lighting board, there are no working audio monitors on stage or in the control room, and a third of the spotlights are inoperable with obsolete replacement parts.

You hear a lot of parents complaining about kids and video games. I'd much rather take $20 away from the Xbox Gold membership and put it towards Restore ORR.

Let's do the right thing for our future generations. Invest in our children. Enrich their lives. Someone did it for us. It's time to return the favor.

It is critical for you to show your support for Restore ORR at the annual town meetings, in Marion on May 13, Mattapoisett on May 13 and Rochester on May 20.

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