LITCHFIELD -- There was a sense of frustration in their voices as they explained what happened ... here was a community that gathered an estimated $7,000, through donations from businesses and individuals, to do the necessary repairs on the school's football field. The volunteers were organized, a day was set and the work accomplished ... only to have vandals, in one night, take out part of their sweat and hard-earned accomplishments, for no apparent purpose.
“It just makes you sick,” said Britt Howard, and Darlene Wardyn agreed.
“The money was donated by businesses and community members and all of the labor was donated,” said Darlene.
“Brad was a big part of organizing our work day. We expected a handful of people and 45 or more, ages 9-80 showed up. We kept having to go back for more paint.”
Last fall a group of people decided that the football field needed some work. In a short period of time the money was gathered and a plan in place. They tinned the roof and painted the crows nest, painted the bleachers, repaired and painted the concessions stand, painted the field and installed a white fence around the field. The newly formed Spartans, the coop between Litchfield and Ansley served as the inspiration. color scheme with a metal “Spartan” cutout on the entrance gate.
The project was completed last September in time for Homecoming.
“When you put your heart and soul into something it’s disappointing when something like this happens,” added Britt.
“The improvements needed to be made.”
Darlene added that to watch 30 guys spend all day installing a fence only to have it taken out by vandals really bothered her.
The vandalism occurred Dec. 16. By 7 a.m. the next morning the word had spread.
“The students are pretty up set over this,” said Darlene.
An organization called the Litchfield Community Fund Supporters has been started through the Sherman County Foundation, Darlene explained.
“We plan to do more work as we raise more money for the school and for the community.”
“We are a group of people who have come together because we want to see growth and improvement in our community,” said Britt.
But what they don’t want any more of, is needless vandalism to work already complete.
“You’d like to think it doesn't occur out here, not in rural Nebraska, but unfortunately,” said Darlene, “it just did.”