When the stadium lights are on, it usually means a close-knit, sports-loving community is coming together to support the local team and display town pride.

Now, in Galveston, those lights will be used not for activities, but as a symbol of hope during the difficult times brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Whenever I was growing up, any time I would go to an event, and I’d see the lights on at a sporting venue, it would just make me feel good inside,” Galveston ISD athletic director Walter Fortune said. “So, this is something we can give out to our community to let them feel good about themselves. We can’t let anybody on the facilities, it’s just a symbol that people can grab a hold to — a beacon of hope.”

Until normality returns (school is out of session until at least April 13, and sports contests are on hold until May 4 at the earliest), the stadium lights at Galveston ISD’s various athletics facilities will be turned on every weekday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Galveston ISD began the “beacon of hope” initiative Thursday night at Courville Stadium and will rotate through different facilities going forward. Tonight, the lights at Tor Baseball Field will be turned on, and then it will be back to Courville Stadium on Mondays, Spoor Field on Tuesday, and back at Tor Baseball Field on Wednesdays.

“Because we have stadiums in different parts of the island ... we’ll rotate it each night, just as a way to move it around through the community and let the community know that we’re all in this together, and we’re going to come out on top,” Fortune said.

The “beacon of hope” idea originated with Dumas ISD, located in the Texas panhandle, and has spread to other districts across the state. Fortune said he hopes it will also spread to other districts in Galveston County.

James LaCombe: 409-683-5242, or on Twitter @JamesAtGalvNews


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