Caron Fund leads to softball improvements in Smithfield

Caron Fund leads to softball improvements in Smithfield

SMITHFIELD - There are new roofs over the dugouts at the Smithfield High School softball field, courtesy of the Caron Foundation.

The foundation was established by family members following a tragic fatal crash on the Point Street Bridge in Providence that claimed the life of Smithfield resident Megan Caron, who was a Rhode Island College student at the time.

A huge softball enthusiast, Megan is remembered by her family, which raises money and spends it on improvements to the high school softball facility. The foundation has supplied batting helmets, jackets, a batting cage and now new dugout roofs, according to Bob Sasso of the Smithfield Girls Softball League.

Kevin Aubee, who heads up Capital Improvement, an East Providence construction firm which erected the new roofs, said his company upgraded the roofs at the town league's Whipple complex last year.

"I got a call from Tony Caron (Megan's father) because the town league told him that my company put the roofs on the Whipple Field dugouts," said Aubee. "He said he would pay for the materials, so I agreed to supply the manpower and expertise so we could make those dugouts safer for the girls."

Aubee has a history of community involvement, especially as a member of the Smithfield Lions Club, where he is a past president.

"I don't have kids in the program, but it's local and we try to do our part to help in the community," said Aubee.

The new dugout roofs, made of steel, were put in place last week.

"They're made of steel, so there won't be any balls going through them," said Aubee. "They may make a little noise and dent, but the girls will be safe and that's what's important."

He is also working on another potential recreation improvement. Aubee has contacted town officials about the possibility of making traffic improvements at Mendes Field, to the rear of Town Hall.

An access road there is narrow, and there is a hill that obstructs the view, making for a dangerous situation.

"The town likes the idea, so if we can find the resources, we certainly will do our part to improve that situation to make it safer for children," said Aubee. "Right now, it's somewhat of a safety hazard."