Young athletes have been lighting up the scoreboard for years in Ladysmith, at least metaphorically speaking.
But they will soon also be able to do it literally thanks to the efforts of a local community service group.
“People Helping People” is the motto of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and it was definitely present on March 30 when members of the Ladysmith Eagles Aerie 2101 and its auxiliary handed over a check for $50,000 to the Town of Ladysmith in order to install electronic scoreboards at three local sports fields.
Eagles members and their families have played and watched many sporting events over the years at Forrest Field, Aggie Field and Holland Creek Ballpark. Now, thanks to their fundraising, the new scoreboards it will make spectators and players feel more part of the games, while enabling local sports groups to host more tournaments.
The Eagles are also involved in another major facility upgrade.
“It’s just one of a number of projects happening to improve local sporting infrastructure, namely at lot 108, Forrest Field,” said Eagle Jim Cram. “We’ve got all four clubs, Kinsmen, Rotary, Lions and the Eagles working together and the projects we are working on is to fix up Forrest Field, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done around it.”
A path is being built around the field, making it more wheelchair friendly while other projects in various stages of development include exercise areas around the field, stands, and finally a ball diamond at the Forrest Field site.
Forrest Field is not only used by local sports teams for football and soccer, it’s also used by other programs such as VIU soccer.
Supporting local youth sports teams is important to the Eagles, but just as important is their participation in the school bursary program, the Ladysmith Ambassadors, Ladysmith Days celebration and the Festival of Lights community spaghetti dinner.
A large part of the Eagles fundraising is their hall and lounge, but the past two years of pandemic restrictions have hurt that, leading to lounge closures and limited rentals of the hall.
With the lifting of some protocols the Eagles are hoping to get back to normal soon.