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You can help double $100K for track
Donor pledges $100,000 if others help match it
An aerial view of the Ripon High School stadium shows the finished football and soccer field just prior to the start of the football season in the fall. The dirt track will be replaced by the all weather surface when sufficient donations have been received by the RCAF. - photo by Photo Contributed

A $100,000 matching offer came in this week toward the installation of the Ripon High School Stadium’s $350,000 all weather rubber track contingent on other donors coming up with another $100,000.

The complete stadium restoration project, including new bleachers, has a price tag of $1.5 million.

Stephanie Hobbs, president of the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation (RCAF), was bubbling with enthusiasm Wednesday evening when she released the news of the surprise donor who is focused on the completion of the eight-lane track.  She said her special donor is confident the citizens of Ripon will match the money he has offered.

Hobbs said she has done her homework and hopes that California Track and Engineering, Inc. will come up with the best bid to do the work.  “These guys are the best,” she said after viewing other tracks they have completed in Central and Northern California.  She is hoping to see the track completed by the fall of 2014.

She noted that the all weather track project has already received $136,000 plus a $35,000 in-kind contribution for work by Cal-Crush Inc. with its headquarters in Ripon.  They would install the base rock below the asphalt, she added.

The track will be built with a six inch road base, two inches of asphalt with a poured rubber surface.  She said the current condition of the dirt track is quite a contrast with the “beautiful field” that was laid last August for football and soccer games.

Hobbs quoted Ripon High’s Athletic Director Chris Johnson as saying the surface is the best in the league.  Ripon High football had its best season in 29 years playing on the field and the soccer program had the best year in its history, she added.

She also noted that the annual Rina’s Run is set for May with its total net proceeds going toward the completion of the running track.  The finished track is going to open to the public before and after school hours as well as on the weekends.

Hobbs was included in the San Joaquin County Council of Governments (COG) last year on their “One Voice” trip to meet officials and congressmen in Washington, D.C. , She has since been appointed to COG representing Ripon.  The RCAF leader is hoping to make the same trip to Washington in April this coming year.  She noted that her cost of transportation and housing has been rewarded 10-fold in the people she met asking for consideration for the Ripon community.

Donations may be made to the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation, P.O. Box 863, Ripon, CA, 95366.