ROCKLAND — A tremendous effort by the Oceanside Improvement Fund and numerous community businesses and individuals resulted in the installation of brand new baseball and softball fields at Oceanside High School in Rockland. A dedication ceremony was held at the fields on April 21.
To complement the new fencing, girl’s backstop, boy’s infield sprinkler system, and updated dugouts, Machias Savings Bank was pleased to donate $10,000 for two new scoreboards, one for the boys, one for the girls, and the money to install them.
Leading the revitalization effort were Rockland residents Doris and Dennis Norton, president and treasurer of the Oceanside Improvement Fund, respectively.
The Nortons first began talking about the idea in 2016. “This was all Doris,” said Dennis Norton. “She grew up with the Bob Morrill family and was heartbroken to see his (namesake) field and the girls’ softball field in disrepair. She insisted we could do something about it. She was the inspiration and I came along for the ride.” The couple started the Oceanside Improvement Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and had their first fundraising event in May 2017, raising $18,000.
While the initial focus of the project was on the field work, the Nortons recall Oceanside High School Athletic Director Molly Bishop was already thinking about the need for new scoreboards.
“A day after the May auction, Machias Savings Bank Rockland Branch Manager Greg Jones called us and said, ‘we want to be involved. What can we do to help?’ Doris Norton recalled.
“We thought of Molly and said we could use $7,500 for two new scoreboards. Greg wanted to be sure the Machias Savings Bank gift covered the entirety of the project, including signs and installation, and generously suggested a gift of $10,000.”
The overall Oceanside effort brought together dozens of businesses and individuals. Of the $140,000 raised, $90,000 was in-kind donations of services, equipment and materials, while $50,000 was cash.
“I’d often travel to other, smaller towns and wonder why they had such nice fields compared to Rockland,” said Brad Galley, vice president of business banking for Machias Savings Bank. “Attending games is a true community event. What the Nortons did in spearheading this effort was amazing. They’ve lifted up the entire town and given our children—and our community—something to be proud of. Machias Savings Bank was honored to be one small part of this mammoth effort.”
With 16 locations stretching from Caribou to Portland, Machias Savings builds exceptional value for individuals, businesses, and our communities. Founded in 1869 and a leader in customer experience and community, Machias manages over $1.3 billion in assets, donates over $700,000 through contributions and contributes over 10,000 employee volunteer hours. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.