Friends of McKinney Field is an organization in Taylor County that is trying to raise enough money to buy a new turf football field for Grafton High School.
On Tuesday community members, organizers, and volunteers filled the Mary Battle Studio at Grafton High School for a kick-off reception to start the fundraising.
"We had talked about doing this, bringing the community in, and I was pleased with the number of people that showed up given the weather conditions. We received several donations, so we were tickled about that," said John Bord, Friends of McKinney Field.
If you ask anyone in Grafton, McKinney Field is in bad shape. A drainage issue makes the field very wet and muddy when it rains.
"When we get a lot of rain the field becomes very difficult to play on, sometimes we had to cancel games. At times it was very slippery for the kids to play on," said Rich Bord, Athletic Director of Grafton High School.
And many involved said McKinney is unplayable right now.
"We know that we can't continue the way we are. The grass field just will not maintain the number of activities that take place on it," said Dr. Joseph Findley, Grafton High School Principal.
The goal is a new turf field that will last eight to twelve years. It's not just the football and soccer teams that will benefit.
"Middle school football, youth football leagues, eventually we'll have youth soccer come in and use it, even some situations where it's used in classrooms," said Rich Bord.
The kick-off reception was used to discuss fundraising ideas, and receive community input. The group has sent 4000 letters to Grafton alumni, and Dr. Findley is planning a benefit concert.
"A concert that would benefit Friends of McKinney Field, and McKinney Field. It's looking very good, March or April that will come to pass," Findley said.
John Bord said he believes organizers can raise all the money, and have the field ready to use by August 1st.
"We've got a lot of excitement with our group. It's definitely a possibility," said John Bord.
The field would cost $647,000, and the project still needs to raise more than $195,000.