By Nancy Rineman, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Friday, April 5, 2001
[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- The Hampton Youth Association and the Hampton Parks and Recreation Department are honoring the memory of HYA enthusiast Don Butler with a plan to dedicate the diamond at Tuck Field's Field One in his honor.
Dyana Lassonde, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Bill Morrissey, President of the Hampton Youth Association, appeared before selectmen Monday night, seeking approval of a plan to recognize Butler, who passed away just one year ago.
"He was an inspiration to all of us," Lassonde said, adding that plans also include a monument plus a flagpole to be erected at that site.
Morrissey, who described the event as a "bittersweet occasion," said his phone was "ringing off the hook" after Butler's passing, as the community displayed an outpouring of love and respect for the friend of youth sports.
"The best photo of Don was with a shovel in his hand," Morrissey said, describing a scene of work at Tuck Field which took place several years ago. While Butler was HYA Commissioner for Basketball at the time of his death, he was instrumental in all phases of youth association activities, and an integral part of the construction of the concession stand at Tuck Field, Lassonde said. Morrissey said the recognition of Butler will be a way to say "thank you" to the Butler family as people realize the 15 years of service Don Butler gave to the community.
Selectmen voted unanimously to approve the plan, with several members of the board contributing words of praise for Butler.
"It's a wonderful idea -- well thought out," Selectman Brian Warburton offered. "It's a wonderful tribute to a guy who gave countless hours."
Landscaping which will coincide with the Hampton Youth Association project will be overseen by Darren Patch of the Parks Department, Lassonde told selectmen.
Dedication of the "Don Butler Diamond" will take place at the Hampton Youth Association Baseball Opening Day ceremony on May 5 at 8:30 a.m. at Tuck Field.