BEND, OR -- Bend FC Timbers serves more than 2600 local soccer players, but it has to rely on school districts and Bend Parks and Rec for field space. The club is hoping to build its own facility at Pine Nursery, in the next 10 years.
Dr. Rod Buzzas is Bend FC Timber's fundraising campaign director. He led a kickoff rally at Pine Nursery Tuesday afternoon, telling enthusiastic soccer players, "Right out there, that open territory out there, that's where we want to build four full-sized soccer fields. Turf, not grass, turf; lit, with scoreboards and a clubhouse. All for our organization to use and to have."
Club Director Tara Bilanski says new fields are long overdue. "My dream, as a former soccer player who had their own soccer fields; not at my house, but my club had our own fields. Anytime I wanted to come out and scrimmage with my friends, anytime our teams wanted to scrimmage, we had our own soccer fields. Right now, we don't have our fields. Think about Summit [High School]; you know how many teams we cram out there for practice at any one time? Eight."
Dr. Buzzas told the kids raising the money isn't going to be easy. "We're doing this in conjunction - in partnership - with Bend Parks and Rec. We have to raise a whole bunch of money for this. Right now, though we've been working very, very hard, we have to raise, yet, $100,000 by the end of this year." The overall goal is to raise $4.7 million over the next 10 years to build four new fields and a clubhouse at Pine Nursery in northeast Bend. He's hopeful that first infusion of $100,000 will allow for construction of the first two fields within five years.