Driving down East Brainerd Road, you may have noticed a new billboard.
It's not selling a product or promoting a business; it's trying to get the community involved in fundraising efforts for a ball field at East Hamilton Middle/High School.
After four years without a baseball field for students to practice or play on and fundraising efforts that have brought in approximately $150,000, the school needs at least an additional $80,00 to build a playable field and another $100,000 to light that field.
"We can't go on until we have all of the money," said Hamilton County District 7 School Board representative Donna Horn, who supports the fundraising effort and personally contributed necessary funds to create the billboard. "They [the parents] have exhausted their ability to raise anymore through fundraising, so we are reaching out to members of the community for help creating this beautiful field that will be available for use for anyone to play on when it's finished."
EHMHS PTA member Ashlie Henderson, who's also a Cane Raiser, the group dedicated to raising funds for the school, said the issue is more than just providing a place for the school's teams to practice and play.
"The No. 1 concern is safety," she said. "We've got these 16-year-old kids traveling every day to Lookout Valley, Chattanooga State, Silverdale or wherever they can find a place to practice."
The local unfinished field and the funds allocated toward its completion are also making it hard for the Cane Raisers to raise money for other projects, said Henderson.
"If we can't get this hole filled in our school, it's hard to gain traction for any other projects," she said. "It's just making it hard to move forward with anything else, and like any public school, there are tons of needs."
Once construction on the field begins, Henderson said there will be naming rights available and opportunities to purchase bricks with names inscribed on them.
"We hope to make contact with large donors," she said. "We would love to have help from both substantial and small donors."
To make a donation or find out more about the process, visit caneraisers.org.