In December 2021, Bill Hardy of FIP Construction approached Head of School Charlie Cahn about donating softball dugouts to the Academy. Construction on the dugouts began at the completion of the spring ’22 term and is expected to finish this fall. The dugouts have the traditional Suffield Academy Hartford red brick façade along with precast accents and include a beautiful brick backstop with new fencing.
In his conversation with Charlie, Bill asked that this gift be in honor of the family of Patrick Booth, longtime Suffield Academy faculty member and head softball coach (as such, Patrick was overjoyed to be able to lay a few of the cornerstone bricks for the new dugouts). Patrick’s wife Carol passed away in 2018 after a brief battle with leukemia. A driving force behind Patrick’s success at the Academy, Carol relished the role of being a surrogate mom to the many students who connected with Patrick and their children, Lauren ’12 and Nicholas ’14, be it through friendship, softball, or community life. An endowment recognizing the critical role faculty spouses and Suffield staff members play on campus was created in her name and in this spirit in 2018.
Lauren Booth was a member of the undefeated softball team and WNEPSSA champions of 2012. She has been on the Suffield Academy faculty for the past two years and joined her dad on the diamond as assistant coach this spring, fulfilling one of Coach Booth's top bucket list items. Nicholas is currently a music producer in Los Angeles. While he never played on the softball field, it is Carol’s spirit of community that has driven his career and brought him success on the west coast.
The Booth family wishes to recognize and thank the countless softball players who have made their lives better. Patrick noted that each spring these players, managers, and families renew his soul with joy, playing a simple game at the bottom of Bell Hill on Rachel Carey Field. The family is also forever grateful for the kindness and professionalism that Bill Hardy and the FIP family have extended to them and the Suffield community. The partnership with Bill has truly transformed the Suffield landscape over the past twenty years, helping to blend Charlie Cahn’s vision for world class education with kindness, compassion, and community.