About the Fund

The Frank Pitillo Memorial Lighting fund was created in June 2022 to preserve the memory of Frank Pitillo. The goal is to replace the stadium lights at Ellicottville Central School that were donated by the Pitillo Family in 1977 after the death of Frank. The lights have fallen on disrepair and no longer provide the proper amount of light. The new system will utilize energy efficient LED lights to meet NYS Athletic Association guidelines and impacting the youth in the district.

 

Our goal is raise $250,000 to replace the stadium lights, which have fallen on disrepair and no longer provide the proper amount of light. The new lighting system, will meet NYS Athletic Assoc. guidelines and create a safer and more enjoyable experience for athletes and spectators.

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Project Description


Ellicottville Central School is located in rural western NY, one hour south of Buffalo. The Ellicottville school district encompassed children from four townships totaling over 600 students Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Of the 600 students, 31% are economically disadvantaged. The Ellicottville Central School athletic fields are used by numerous community organization and little league teams. It is the only regulation facility that is accessible to the four municipalities. The athletic field is a true community asset. For the school to fund the replacement of lights, there would have to be an increase of approximately 2.5% on the tax levy for all district taxpayers. By fundraising and applying for grants, the taxpayers in the district will not have to shoulder this increase.

Benefactors of this project can be quantified by looking at the number of students and sports teams who use the facility and the families who support the athletes. There are a total of 12 teams that use the field, ages range from 8 years old to 18 years old totaling nearly 220 children. Add to that the average of 130 parents, family members and other spectators who attend each event. The Average Number of events held yearly are 21 totaling an impact on 3600 youth and families.

Sports field Lighting is critical to the players, coaches, and fan’s safety. Players cannot play their sport without adequate lighting. Spectators cannot enjoy the sport if they cannot see it.

The new system will:

  • help player performance and increase safety by providing better lighting
  • Save power – LED use up to 75% less energy
  • Last up to 25 times longer than the current bulbs
  • Make it easier for athletes to see on the field by increasing clarity and reducing blind spots on the field

This project will support the enhancement and community access to the athletic fields by upgrading thestadium lights to an environmentally efficient system. The new lighting system will increase the number of hours the field can be accessed by youth sports teams and community organizations, and create a safer environment for players and spectators. Sports field Lighting is critical to the players, coaches, and fan’s safety. Players cannot play their sport without adequate lighting. Spectators cannot enjoy the sport if they cannot see it. Yet, beyond basic convenience, outdoor lighting is critical to safety. Players will make fewer mistakes on the field when they can see well. Also, by upgrading the lighting system will also allow persons of all abilities to access the facility without fear because of poor lighting.What will be accomplished:It is the primary mission of the Frank Pitillo Memorial Light Fund to take an active roll in our youth sportsexperience by helping to provide a safe and enjoyable athletic field that is adequately lit for all sports teams and spectators to enjoy. This will be done by spearheading a fundraising campaign to raise funds to purchase a new lighting system for the Ellicottville Central School Ray Grey Field and provide a maintenance fund to ensure the system can be used by many generations of Ellicottville Eagle Athletes.The Frank Pitillo Family is spearheading fundraising efforts, with collaboration from the Ellicottville Central School, Pee Wee and Midget Football Teams, Youth Soccer Organizations, Sports Boosters, Ellicottville Central Alumni, and the community members in the school district’s four municipalities. Although fundraising activities have just officially begun, the Fund has raised over $20,000.

Timeline for the lighting project is as follows:

  • November 23, 2022: Kick off for Fundraising Event at the Villagio, Ellicottville NY
  • December 2022 – May 2022: Fundraising Events
  • June, 2023: Disconnect and Removal of old light system
  • July –  August 2023: Furnish and install prewired and pre- aimed Sports Lighting System
  • September 2023: Lighting system to be completed

Outcomes of the Project:

  • Increase in the # of Lumens emitted on the field
  • Increase energy efficiency of stadium lighting
  • Increased safety of fans and athletes

Current fundraising activities completed towards $250,000 goal:

  • June 2022 – November Fund Raising: $22,000
  • November 23, 2022 Fund Raising Event Kick Off: $14,000
  • November 29, 2022 Cattaraugus Gives Online Event: $16,000
  • February 3rd, 2023 Super Bowl Pool: $20,000
  • Other Donations: $10,674

Totaling over $82,674

Grant Applications Outstanding:

The Frank Pitillo Memorial Fund is working on and applying for the following grant applications to help with the cost of the project.

Organizations include:

  • Ralph Wilson Foundation
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
  • USA Football Grant Program
  • Bills Foundation
  • NFL Foundation