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$120K donation completes funds for Coquitlam school's new scoreboard

Centennial Secondary's $3-million outdoor sports field will see a new score clock installed in fall 2023.

A ringer has delivered the game-winning drive to help Centennial Secondary secure a new score clock for its sports field next fall.

A total of $110,000, plus $10,000 over two years for maintenance, was officially donated to the Coquitlam school on Tuesday (Dec. 6) after eight months of campaigning for the new "state-of-the-art" technology.

The $3-million outdoor facility includes an artificial turf field — the seventh of its kind in Coquitlam — and was constructed next to Winslow Avenue on the site of the old Centennial Secondary that was demolished in 2018.

The project, jointly funded by the city and School District 43 (SD43), was originally supposed to open in 2020 but was delayed by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Until this week, principal Anthony Ciolfitto said Centennial's fundraiser reeled in more than $30,000 in the first three months.

The Centaurs' MVP: local philanthropist Sharon Perry.

In a statement to the Tri-City News, she explained she personally approached Ciolfitto in expressing her desire to help after learning of Centennial's efforts to complete its new sports field

"Centennial has been a big part of my children's schooling, my oldest two are currently attending, one is graduating this year and then my youngest starts there next September," said Perry.

"If it weren't for relationships like the one I have built with Anthony, additions like this to our schools and community would not be possible. Every government should strive to work with individuals and businesses where our tax dollars are not reaching."

The money will bring a new score clock to Centennial's field in September 2023, just in time for football, field hockey and senior boys' soccer seasons.

Ciolfitto is grateful the school, which houses more than 1,700 students, will soon get to enjoy a true sports atmosphere.

"Knowing that [Perry] is part of our Centennial family with two children who attend here, makes this even more meaningful," he added.

"I'm truly grateful that Sharon has enabled us to reach our goal of getting a scoreboard for the field."

In April, the SD43 Education Foundation launched a scoreboard campaign that aimed to collect $60,000 in 90 days.

It started after Centennial's senior girls' soccer team officially opened the new field with a 3-0 victory over Terry Fox — the first true home game for the Centaurs in more than 20 years.

Before then, the blue, white and red's outdoor teams called Town Centre Park home; football was played on a grass field on the other side of Poirier Street.

Perry is the owner and "growth advocate" of Sharon Perry and Associates — a Tri-Cities accounting firm known for providing support to community groups and organizations.