Delaney says it was ‘my turn to pay forward’
When Kevin Delaney, president of electrical and integration systems contractor DEI Systems, broached the idea of upgrading the lighting on Frasca’s upper field, he had a modest vision.
“I coach my oldest daughter’s U12 travel team and always felt that not only were fall practices cut short, but it was difficult to get off the field and through the parking area because it was very dark,” said Delaney. “I started off figuring I would just change out the few existing lights to brighter ones and put a few new poles in to hopefully light up the egress path.”
The project took off from there. Delaney brought his DEI Systems team on board and donated brand new lights, poles and wiring as well as installation; the town waived all permit fees for the project.
“For years to come, these lights will have our players practicing their skills and drills and holding scrimmages even once the sun has gone down,” said Marc Vaillancourt, vice president of the Tewksbury Youth Soccer League. Vaillancourt provided the drone photos of the newly illuminated fields.
Delaney said his father, Thomas, undertook a similar project at the East Street baseball fields years ago.
“I guess this was my turn to pay forward not only what he did, but so many others over the years,” said Delaney, who has deep roots in town.
“Both sides of my family are from Tewksbury and have been here since the 1950s — most still live here to this day,” said Delaney. “My wife is also from here, and we both graduated from Tewksbury High School.”
DEI Systems, which been based in town since 2004, provides engineering, design and build services for every system within a building that requires high- and low-voltage power, including telecom and alarms as well as electrical. Delaney built a new facility for the company in 2020, on Sunnyslope Ave.
“Next year will mark our twentieth year in business, every one of them in Tewksbury,” he said. “It’s a great source of pride to have my two daughters grow up the same way we did. At this point, we are fully invested in Tewksbury, and that was always by design.”
Still, the project wasn’t without challenges, given the size and location of the Frasca Fields complex.
“There is not a lot of power on the massive property, and there are limited utilities, such as water for mixing concrete and the ability to get large vehicles in and out,” said Delaney. “The team stepped up and got it done — they really understood the importance.”
He also gave a special thanks to the Tewksbury Cemetery for providing access for large vehicles.
“This would not have been possible without their help,” he said.
The Tewksbury Youth Soccer League has both in-town and travel leagues, with kids from Pre-K to Grade 12 playing a fall season, from August to November, and a spring season March through June. The Frasca Field complex on North St. has 19 fields of varying sizes on upper and lower levels. The TYSL is always seeking adult and youth volunteers to coach, referee, work the snack shack or assist with the Little Tikes and Kindergarten programs.
“If we can prolong fall practices, it gives more time for coaches to teach,” said Delaney. “I think that’s the benefit, and I think we have achieved that on the upper fields.”