Dan Wilbourne (right) accepts a $20,000 check from an anonymous donor for the Clarksville Dixie Youth Facilities Enhancement Drive. Presenting the check are Terri and John C. Lee Jr., who secured the matching funds that will be used for the installation of new lighting and other improvements to the baseball and softball facilities.

In Southside Virginia, the Clarksville Dixie Youth organization recently brought yet another successful season to a close after hosting regional tournaments. Additionally, their campaign to raise funds for improvements to Shaver Field and the softball field on Woodland Drive in Clarksville reached an important goal.

The organization raised in excess of $20,000, which earned them an additional $20,000 through a match from an anonymous donor. Dan Wilbourne, who serves as the organization’s president, indicated that funds raised by the drive will be used to enhance the Clarksville fields, which are home to both baseball and softball leagues for girls and boys ranging from 5 to 18 years of age, and play in six different leagues designated by ages.

He recently accepted a check from John and Terri Lee from the anonymous donor giving the organization in excess of $60,000 for lighting and field improvements. Wilbourne indicated that the Lees approached the organization about the effort because of their concern about the future of youth sports following the pandemic.

When presenting the match check, John Lee, president and CEO of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, stated, “Terri and I, and a very generous donor, are so very proud of the Clarksville Dixie Youth group and their efforts to raise funds to improve a facility that brings value to so many area youth. We were gravely concerned that organized youth sports might well become a casualty of the pandemic and we are so pleased to see that groups such as these Dixie Youth volunteers refuse to allow that to be the case.”

New lights for the two fields are the highest priority for the organization and Wilbourne is already working with two athletic field light manufacturers on costs and designs with the goal of having the new lighting in place for next season. It is estimated that new lights and equipment for the two fields will cost about $50,000.

The contacts for the manufacturers were provided by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, which has experience in installing athletic field lights after undertaking a similar project for the baseball field in Wylliesburg. For additional information about the drive, contact the organization at [email protected].

—Report by Priscilla Lawson Whirley, Communications Specialist, Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative