‘A Milestone For This Town’: Residents Form Private Group To Support New Canaan’s Athletic Facilities; Dunning, NCHS Track On Radar

Faced with a pressing need to re-turf New Canaan’s premier sports field prior to the start of the fall season, 20 town residents six weeks ago formed a new nonprofit foundation focused on that project and several others. In that very short amount of time, thanks to generous donors representing a wide cross-section of the community, the New Canaan Athletic Foundation (here on Facebook and here on Twitter) not only raised more than $500,000 needed to replace the aging turf at Dunning Stadium, but also sketched out a long-term vision for supporting athletic facilities in town. “It is going to be a community organization, so we are contemplating all sports—not just, say, football, soccer and lacrosse,” said Mike Benevento, chairman of the NCAF board of directors. A New Canaan resident for 13 years and professional asset manager with four kids ranging in ages from 3 to 12, Benevento added: “It’s for athletic projects that can benefit the community as a whole, and athletic facilities. It’s a broad initiative.”

News of the newly formed organization broke Tuesday during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, when a $554,490 contract was approved for Rockland, Mass.-based R.A.D. Sports to replace the artificial turf at Dunning.