While the Lefcoe Leadership Class of 2017’s time together has officially come to a close, its best qualities will live on for years to come: friendships will endure, mutual efforts will be shared, the Lefcoe Alumni Association will take on new, energetic members and, last but not least, the kids who play baseball and football at the Churchland Little League facility will enjoy improved facilities and a significantly upgraded concession stand. Since the income from concession sales produces a huge chunk of the Leagues’ annual income, this is a very big deal.
Parents and volunteers who staff the concession stand have, for some time, soldiered through game days in a cinder-block sweatbox with no working air conditioning, a utility sink that looked like it had been hit by a truck, and no hot water to wash hands and utensils. Weeding and landscaping were overdue, and everything needed a fresh coat of paint. The flood light sockets, window coverings, and two 20′ equipment storage boxes needed replacement, while batting cages and dugouts were in need of repair. In all, a tall order. However, despite the ton of labor required and the $8,000 cost, sponsorship money was raised and the class members’ work was complete prior to the 2017 season’s opening day of play.
The twenty-two community-minded members of this year’s class devoted every Wednesday night in January, February and March – plus a few day trips and a Saturday or two – to hear presentations from educators, developers, the media, elected officials, entrepreneurs, volunteers, and many others. Questions and discussion were encouraged. Class members also visited the General Assembly and Supreme Court in Richmond, toured the Portsmouth schools’ Starbase program, took a “Trolley Tour” of Portsmouth’s past and future development sites, and were the guests of Col. Crawford for a walking tour of Olde Towne.
In the end, class members did what the previous 480 graduates of the Lefcoe program have done before them: made strong new friendships, and deepened their affection for Portsmouth’s history, its people, and its potential.