Wilton plans to hold major sporting events to raise funds for youth sports

WILTON — A youth sports coalition is looking to bring big sporting events to town to raise money for local programs and better facilities.

The Wilton Athletic and Recreational Foundation, or WARF, now houses all of the city’s youth athletic programs under one roof. It merged with the Youth Sports Coalition about a month ago to bring a unified vision and joint fundraising effort to the city.

WARF held its first fundraising effort in 2017 with the Banner Program at Wilton Veterans Memorial Stadium. This allowed him to pledge $60,000 to the city for feasibility studies on the sod field. The largest coalition is now looking to raise more money by organizing events.

“From a financial perspective, another area that we will be focusing on, although not annually, will be bringing events to town,” said Nick Gemelli, vice president of fields and facilities for WARF.

He suggested holding two Division I collegiate athletic programs at Wilton High School’s Tom Fujitani Field and making it an event by selling tickets and raising money for the city’s youth programs.

The ultimate goal is to add a third grass court in town. A city-wide amenity survey is trying to determine a possible location. The favorite, so far, is at Allen Meadows Park, fields 5 and 6.

WARF named its newest board of directors, led by chairman JR Sherman, and revealed it had secured youth leagues baseball, youth lacrosse, softball, field hockey, soccer and soccer. She is still looking for a Vice President of Private Fundraising.

Additionally, WARF will launch a brand new social media campaign to better connect the public with its mission and tell the stories of some of its athletes. The coalition will spend the next four to six weeks building its infrastructure before proceeding with a rocky launch in September, according to Scott Lawrence, the coalition’s vice president of government and community liaison.

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