The Lonely Island — a popular music trio made up of Berkeley High School alums and known for infamously provocative hit songs such as “I’m On A Boat” — is planning to donate $10,000 to its alma mater for a new scoreboard.
Berkeley High School aims to construct a new sports complex at Derby Field that would house basketball courts, a baseball field and a soccer field. The school received just enough Measure I city bond funding to build the sports complex, though not enough to add finishing touches such as the new scoreboard.
According to Berkeley Unified School District spokesperson Mark Coplan, the school needs $15,000 for the scoreboard and electrical wiring setup, and a large group of people has assembled to head fundraising efforts. When Coplan reached out to The Lonely Island, they offered to help.
“They stepped right up to the plate and said, ‘We’ll give you $10,000 no problem,’” Coplan said.
According to Stephanie Allan, a major proponent of the project, the plan for a new field was first initiated in 1998, when she along with several others created the group known as the Friends of the Derby Street Park & Field. Allan said the group has been working on advocating for a new sports complex ever since.
“This is the first time in recorded history that the Berkley High School baseball team will have a home field,” Allan said. “All this time, they’ve never had one.”
The baseball team has had to practice at San Pablo Park because it is the only park nearby so Allan said having this new sports complex “is a two-fer because the San Pablo Park can be returned back to full use by its neighborhood and the baseball team doesn’t have to hike down so far to practice everyday.”
Allan said her group hopes the remaining $5,000 necessary will be donated by unions and local businesses.
The scoreboard would serve as a tribute to the late Berkeley High School history teacher and baseball coach Tim Moellering, who was a major proponent of the reconstruction project.
“I knew that (The Lonely Island) had long connection with Tim Moellering, who passed from cancer a few years back, so I felt that it was important that they be included in this reconstruction project as there is a proposal to name the field after Moellering,” Coplan said.
The Lonely Island previously donated $250,000 to Berkeley High School, though Coplan noted that that money is coming from Doritos, whereas the $10,000 donation is coming directly from the group’s personal funds.
The $250,000 donation is a token of appreciation to the music group for giving up its spot in Doritos’ annual Crash the Super Bowl Competition, which the group was partnered with this year. Giving up its spot allowed for two winners in the competition.
According to Coplan, Andy Samberg also donated $15,000 to John Muir Elementary School in what was supposed to be an anonymous donation from the pay he would have received from a stand up routine.
Coplan said Doritos will deliver the $250,000 check to the school at the Derby Field groundbreaking ceremony, and as a bonus, “all three mothers of The Lonely Island guys are coming here to celebrate their incredible generosity.”
According to Allan, construction will begin at Derby Field right after the ceremony and will continue until March 2013, just in time for the baseball season. The brand new scoreboard and sign dedicated to Moellering can be expected to make their first appearances in the fall, when students are back in school.
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