CARMEL, NY – As an avid sportsman with three kids, Senator Terrence Murphy knows a child’s social skills can be shaped on the ball field. With an eye toward inspiring more kids to play sports, Senator Murphy presented the Town of Carmel with a check for $300,000 at a press conference held at Camarda Park.
The total amount will finance two grants. The first grant for $250,000 will fund the construction of five new multipurpose playing fields at Airport Field in Mahopac. The second grant of $50,000 will go toward paving and resurfacing the parking lot at Camarda Park in Carmel.
“Today marks the joining together of Mahopac and Carmel Sports Associations for a common goal – helping kids,” said Senator Murphy. “Building these fields and improving the parking areas ultimately means that more kids will be participating in healthy activities that will help build character, and just as importantly, keep them from getting involved with drugs and alcohol.”
“I realized twenty-five years ago, when I was president of the Carmel Sports Association that it was important for the kids and families in Carmel to have a park they could call their own,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “We would not have realized that dream without the generosity of Paul Camarda. Twenty-five years later, the park has grown beyond our expectations. It shows what you can do when you have generous people like the Camarda’s, the cooperation of the Town Board, and the support of Senator Murphy.”
“Thank you Senator Murphy, for the dedication and commitment you have shown the residents of Carmel in delivering this $300,000 dollar grant,” said Carmel Town Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt. “This shows what can be accomplished when we all band together. Because of everyone’s efforts we have made this a better community for our kids and their families.”
Robert Buckley, Chairman of the Town of Carmel Recreation and Parks Committee, added,
“Senator Murphy has helped us finish what we started. Twenty-five years ago, when County Executive Odell was President of the Carmel Sports Association, she had a dream. Her dream has come to fruition.”
Paul Camarda, who donated the land carrying his namesake, was among the many honored guests. Other attendees were Putnam County Sheriff Donald Smith, Putnam County Under Sheriff Peter Convery, the Honorable James Reitz, Putnam County Court Judge; Carmel Councilmen Frank Lombardi and John Lupinacci, Councilwoman Suzanne McDonough, James Gilchrist, Recreation and Parks Department Director, Town of Carmel; Nina Kallmeyer, Senior Recreation Leader, Town of Carmel, and Dave Furfaro, Vice Chairman, Town of Carmel Recreation and Parks Committee.
Although they were not designed to be utilized for soccer, the current grass fields at Airport Field have ably served in that capacity. In the interest of upgrading sports programs for kids, the Town of Carmel will be constructing fields that will be used for a multitude of sports, including soccer, football and lacrosse.
One of Camarda Park’s most pressing needs is improved parking conditions on Seminary Hill Road. The new parking lot will reduce maintenance costs, give visitors an improved parking area and above will minimize the occurrence of slips and falls.
Constructed in 2009, Camarda Park has seen a resurgence following its re-dedication this past June. It now consists of a major league and minor league baseball diamond, two basketball courts, a soccer field, steel pavilion and a concession area.