FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Channing Bete Company Steps Up To The Plate; Donates Land For Ball Fields
At a time when state and local governments are struggling to keep budgets balanced while providing basic services to residents, the Channing Bete Company today announced its plans to lend a helping hand. The company has offered to donate more than six acres of land to the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts, to be used as community recreation fields.
With so little public space available for children to play sports, town officials had initially reached out to Channing Bete Company to see if the company would be willing to sell them the land at its tax-assessed value. Channing Bete Company and its 300 employees said yes to the request for land, but no to the sale, which allows any money slated for the purchase of the land to go toward the development of the fields.
"We know how tight the economy is right now, and how badly our community needs places where our children can play," said Bob Underhill, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Channing Bete Company, and a 20-year resident of Deerfield. "We don't want to charge Deerfield for this land -- it's a gift from our 300 employees and their families, many with young children who will enjoy these new fields, too."
"Channing Bete Company has called Deerfield home for more than 23 years. We like to think we've been good corporate citizens and even better neighbors." This gift continues a tradition the company started back in 1990, when it donated about two-and-a-half acres to the South Deerfield Fire District.
Underhill noted that Channing Bete Company has made its property available to the community for years. A local youth soccer league regularly plays its games on the company's 45-acre tract, and Frontier Regional High School used the land while its fields were undergoing renovations.
The transaction will be considered formally at town meeting on April 28 and 30. The six-plus acres are located on the southernmost point of Channing Bete Company's property, adjacent to the South Deerfield Fire Station, along Routes 5 and 10.