Lighting OPRF is in our kids' best interests

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The following letter is being currently circulated for signature. It will be presented to the District 200 school board at its Jan. 17 meeting. If you wish your name to be added to it, please e-mail Alison Nelson at anelson572@aol.com no later than Jan. 15:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the District 200 school board,

At long last, the silent majority is stepping forward to make its feelings known on the issue of lighting the stadium at Oak Park and River Forest High School.

We, the undersigned, represent Oak Park and River Forest families of current and future Huskies. Our children play turf sports: football, boys and girls soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.

We are most definitely in favor of lighting the stadium. We believe that the clear majority of OPRF High School families and students, whom you are elected to represent, want and will benefit from lighting the stadium. We feel that the time is now for the board to move forward to complete what was already envisioned when lighting infrastructure was installed in the stadium during its 2000 renovation.

We will actively support the board, the administration and the Huskie Booster Club in their efforts to address the concerns of the neighboring homeowners about traffic, parking and litter. We are confident that by utilizing the latest in lighting technology, light spillage onto neighboring properties can be minimized, if not completely eliminated.

We sincerely believe that the doomsday scenario of Oak Park turning into "another Wrigleyville" is overblown, to say the least. It simply won't happen.

What will happen with a lighted stadium is what needs to happen for the student-athletes of OPRF: more practice time on campus, less time and money spent on busing to remote (and potentially unsafe) practice fields, and the opportunity to play the occasional home game in the early evening that we, as parents, will be able to attend without skipping work.

The prospect of Friday night games is eminently reasonable and certainly enjoyable. Virtually all other high schools of our size in this area?#34;if not the entire country?#34;enjoy this amenity. Why not the athletes and parents of OPRF? Aren't we supposed to be providing "Those Things That Are Best?"

Thank you for considering the feelings of the many families who have asked to have their names on this letter.

Alison Nelson and Scott Hargadon and 61 others, thus far Families in Favorof Lighting the Stadium

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