Taste of North Royalton Event - Nov 3rd

The NR Stadium Foundation & NR Educational Foundation

present the:

Taste of North Royalton

Thursday, November 3, 2011

5:30p.m. - 8:30p.m.

Carrie Cerino’s - Main Ballroom

8922 Ridge Road North Royalton


Adult ticket $25 (food & drink)

Ticket Information: 440-582-2820 or 440-582-8644

Tables reserved for parties of 10!

Raffle Tickets at the door!

Come and enjoy an evening out delighting in all that’s great about our local eateries including:

Augie’s, Corned Beef Cafe, Romano’s
Carrie Cerino’s, French Quarter Cafe, Becker’s Bakery
Samurai Sushi & Steak, Champagne Catering
Espresso Pit Stop, Royal Frozen Bev, Jaipur Junction
Cookie Cupboard, Viva! Mexico, Hop Hing
Giant Eagle, Hershey’s, 3 Spot, Samosky’s






The Post sports writer

      Normal   0               false   false   false      EN-US   X-NONE   X-NONE                                                     MicrosoftInternetExplorer4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      /* Style Definitions */  table.MsoNormalTable 	{mso-style-name:The North Royalton marching band spells out its gratitude to the community for helping raise enough money to complete the renovation of the city's 71-year-old stadium. The aerial photo shows the end of the band's halftime performance during the football game against Revere.

MORE than a year's worth of planning, fundraising and construction came to fruition Friday evening when Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium and resurfaced Gibson Field officially were unveiled to the North Royalton community.

Prior to the start of North Royalton's football team's 31-12 home-opening win over Revere, there was a dedication of the renovated 71-year-old facility by North Royalton City Schools superintendent Ed Vittardi and a ribbon-cutting performed by Bob Serpentiti and former North Royalton High School principal Charles Gibson to commemorate the grand opening.

"On behalf of not only our entire school district, but also our entire school community, I am here to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the dream become a reality," Vittardi said.

"North Royalton School community, we have reason to be very proud of ourselves."

Proud they were. From current to former North Royalton athletes, to parents of past and present students in the district, the first official home football game was a satisfying moment.

"To come from the days of a cinder track and muddy field, it's a beautiful new stadium," 1995 graduate and former track athlete Brad Calabrese said. "The football, soccer and track teams of the community will support it well."

Said Azarie Battle, a senior co-captain on the football team and member of North Royalton's track program: "I'm so excited for it. It's just so nice and we're truly blessed to have it."

Pregame festivities at the stadium, initially built in 1940, included numerous student representatives from the district's various sports teams and band; students from St. Albert's the Great School; and community athletic programs holding the ceremonial purple ribbon.

School board members and the district's principals also participated in the on-field dedication.

"It's really exciting because we worked so hard to raise the money," said junior Ellyn Hanford, a track and soccer standout on the field for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and active in the fundraising efforts. Hanford is a member of the girls soccer program that opened the facility four days earlier with Holy Name, the other area high school that will call Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium home.

North Royalton's boys soccer team took to the new turf field for the first time Thursday, playing host to Shaker Heights. North Royalton won 3-0.

The stadium's several-phase project began initial renovations during the summer of 2010. Nearly all projects were complete for the grand opening. Minor additions still in the works, including the surfacing of the all-weather track and construction of the locker rooms, were not vital for the 7 p.m. kickoff.

Nor were they necessary to impress those who packed the stands.

"I think it's awesome," said Bill Orr, a North Royalton parent whose son currently plays football for the Bears and had two other children participate in sports that utilized the previous stadium facility. "It's something that's going to be a focal point for years and years. I'm an old jock. I'm sure a lot of parents of former players are saying they wish their kids could have had a facility like this."

Said Revere fan and Bath resident Ron Bassak: "This is my first time here and this is beautiful. I think it's welcoming."

In 2010, a $250,000 renovation of the visitor stands and paved walkways to the visitor and home stands was completed.

This past spring, several of the larger projects were completed including the installation of a 3,000-seating home grandstand which features The Panigutti Family Press Box, a state-of-the-art building with a rooftop viewing area atop the steep bleachers.

Also completed were two concession stands, upgraded restrooms and a multi-purpose, artificial turf field.

A significant portion of those projects were funded by the North Royalton Board of Education, but the North Royalton Stadium Foundation was established to raise approximately $1.3 million to cover the cost of the artificial field and track surface.

As of Aug. 11, the North Royalton Stadium Foundation had collected $1.09 million.

"I'm very impressed with Ed and the group he put together," said Orr, who participated in the fundraising efforts. "I told him it was a true definition of collaboration. It's just an awesome group of people. It just goes to show you what synergy can do when you get a good group of people together."

Greg Gurka, the director of personnel in the district, said the track surface was scheduled for completion in the next week.

Fundraising efforts are ongoing for the locker rooms and storage facilities initially planned for the south end of the stadium.

North Royalton head football coach Nick Ciulli not only was excited to have his team win its first game in the stadium surrounded by a homecoming-game atmosphere, he also was relieved his staff and players were able to deliver to those who came out to support the program and the project.

"Before the game I said, ÄòIt doesn't matter if we want to win, we have to win,'" Ciulli said.

Everyone who left the stadium that evening could say they were part of a big win, too.


North Royalton celebrates opening of the renovated Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium


The Bears played their first game at the newly renovated Gibson Field at Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium in North Royalton on Sept. 2. Chuck Gibson, left, Superintendent Ed Vittardi and Bob Serpentini conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony before the game.

More than 1,000 residents attend stadium open house

Open house allows high school to celebrate a great achievement

Photo by LESLIE A. PANFIL Residents check out the turf at the Stadium Foundation community open house.


Residents check out the turf at the Stadium Foundation community open house.

Photo by LESLIE A. PANFIL Donors prominently displayed near the new concession stand and spirit wear shop.


Donors prominently displayed near the new concession stand and spirit wear shop.


The Post contributor


It was a temperate day with clear skies and soft breezes for the Stadium Foundation's Open House. Over 1,000 members of the community perused the stadium's new synthetic turf, eight-lane competitive track, reserved seating, press box, restrooms, concession stands, walkways, fencing, wheelchair accessible ramping and recently designed landscaping.

North Royalton residents Mike and Anita Ambrose were among the first open house attendees.

"We have lived in North Royalton for 45 years," said Mike. "Our kids and now our grand kids go to North Royalton." Mike and Anita have three grandchildren in the system including an 11th grade, ninth grade and second grade students.

"Everyone involved should be very proud of the work done here. That field is finer than what the Browns play on."

"Our son will return for his Class of '76 reunion this fall and I can't wait for him to see this beautiful field," said Anita. The Ambrose family is also friends of the field's namesake, Chuck Gibson.

"We are so happy for him. He is so deserving of this honor," she said.

"Even though we are Strongsville residents, our heart is in North Royalton," said Dick Krause. Krause who works the scoreboard, also said he was thrilled to be sharing the stadium with Holy Name.

"This is a state-of-the-art facility and paid for without going to the taxpayers. That is a huge accomplishment," he said.

The Stadium Foundation was hard at work continuing to raise money with its Serpentini Chevrolet car raffle, reserved seating and spirit wear sales.

According to Foundation Member, Bo Kuntz, "We have sold 350 of the designated 534 reserved seats."

Preferred seats are $100 for the season or three years for $250 and include: admission for all home games (a $30 value); molded seat with back and arm rests; defined personal space; same seat every game; seating between the 40-yard lines; and an option to renew next season. To purchase preferred seating, call the Athletic Office at 440-582-7822.

Sales of spirit wear were also brisk.

"The inaugural season pins and the T-shirts have been really popular," said Foundation member and Open House Chairman, Dr. John Kelly. "Sales of stadium foundation spirit wear have brought in about $500."

As an integral part of the team who made this enormous project possible, Kelly said he was most proud of the new press box.

"The press box is a huge improvement," he said. "Coaches now have the capacity to use notebook computers in the box. It will be more comfortable and efficient for everyone who uses it."

Kelly, who has also volunteered in the stadium concession stand said, "We now have commercial-grade appliances. I don't think anyone realizes we were working with donated items that often took some jostling to work and many non-functioning electrical outlets."

The event program contained some amazing facts. The new stadium contains 40 toilets replacing the four toilets and several portable toilets. The new grandstand is 60 feet in height, which is more than double the height of the old stands.

Over 9,000 tons of gravel and earth were moved to prepare the site. And a staggering 2,000 yards of concrete and 3,000 tons of asphalt were poured. Nearly 150 tons of recycled rubber was used for the field and track accounting for the removal of over 18,000 tires from Ohio's landfills.

There will be continued economies in the switch from grass to synthetic material in the coming years. Water consumption from hydrating the football and soccer fields will no longer be expended. The elimination of harmful fertilizers and pesticides will save the system over $2,500 a year. The reduced use of mowers and trimmers will save the district fuel costs and eliminate clippings and yard waste.

In addition to savings, the stadium hopes to increase revenues and bolster the local economy through added concession and rental income.


Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium open house attracts North Royalton ooh's and ah's


EnlargeNorth Royalton High School freshman, Jon Bonacci, made some plays during community day at Serpentini Chevrolet Stadium.stadium gallery (9 photos)