, Newburyport, MA

April 30, 2014

A very worthy cause

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

A group of ex-coaches and teachers meet bi-monthly at a local restaurant for breakfast. We have been doing this for approximately 20 years or so. We all began while we were still working.

Every group has a leader. Ours is Carl Beal. He made his mark at Northern Essex Community College where he was an administrator. He is a local boy well-known in high school as a leader and an athlete. He and his class of 1953 high school graduates have donated more money to help in the programs at Newburyport High School than any other class.

Now Carl is leading our group working diligently to raise money to put a plaque in the fitness room of the high school for Bob Welch. Bob is one of our coaching group who dedicated his entire 36 years of teaching and coaching in our school system. He’s long retired, but our group believes that something should be done to honor his many accomplishments over his tenure. The list is long for all the things he did as a teacher and director of physical education.

In order to put a plaque in the fitness room of the high school, our group needs to raise $15,000. Carl is determined that we do just that!

Bob Welch came to Newburyport right after I left to go to Salem. He took my position as physical education teacher in the grade schools. Soon after that he was transferred to the high school. He became director of physical education for the entire public schools. As he spent his entire career in Newburyport, it is only proper that Bob’s friends do all they can to raise money for this plaque.

On May 24 at 11 a.m., there will be a golf ball drop fundraiser. Golf balls will be dropped from an altitude onto an athletic field at NHS, which will resemble a golf hole. The nearest golf ball to the cup will receive the top money prize. It is hoped that many people will take part in purchasing tickets for this worthy cause.

In addition to the ball drop, a mailing campaign is being conducted to former NHS students and athletes who were in Bob’s classes and on his teams. A contribution to this fund can be made by sending a donation to NEF and mail to Newburyport Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1002, Newburyport, MA. Please write Robert Welch Naming Opportunity in the notes field of your check. The committee hopes that people will take part in this endeavor. Time is of the essence. Tickets for the golf ball drop are available at the Park Lunch, Simply Sweet, Inn Street, and Oregano’s Pizzeria in Newburyport, The Winner’s Circle and Connie’s Stage Coach on Route 110, Salisbury. For more information, you can email

Robert “Boots” Chouinard