The Fairfield Beach Resident Organization 2019-2020 Facebook group was met with disappointing news on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 24. BRO President Jennie Toutoulis ‘20, who is responsible for planning BRO’s non-university affiliated events such as Oktoberfest and Mock Wedding, announced that the annual all-female Powderpuff football game to be held on Nov. 23 would not be taking place.
Toutoulis continued on in a Facebook post to say that, in working with the Parks and Recreation Department of the Town of Fairfield, BRO was notified that the permit they had applied for to host the event in Veteran’s Park had been denied. Without a large outdoor space with which to hold the event, BRO was left with no option but to seek an alternative event to take Powderpuff’s place in November.
Toutoulis commented on the situation via email, expressing disappointment at the turn of events but nevertheless attempting to find a silver lining. “Not being able to use Veteran’s Park gives the senior class an opportunity to come together and work through this bump in the road,” she said. “Many of our classmates have reached out offering suggestions, assistance in planning a new event, and spaces where we can do so.”
These suggestions have been submitted through a Google Forms link that was attached to the announcement post, with Toutoulis encouraging group members to submit what events they would like to see and to take this as an opportunity for the class of 2020 to create their own tradition to be carried on after they graduate.
This announcement still left many wondering why the popular event would no longer be taking place. Senior Valerie Bien-Aime commented that, with all the expectation built up around this event, not being able to participate feels like a huge disappointment. “From what I’ve heard,” she said via electronic message, “people are upset because they have waited three years to participate in this event, and now it’s been ripped out from under them.”
However, the reason behind Powderpuff’s cancellation comes down to something very simple: a scheduling issue. Both Toutoulis and Anthony Calabrese, the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Fairfield, asserted via email that the, “permit was denied because the date requested was after the date our Town fields close for the winter.” This not only precludes Fairfield University students from using Veteran’s Park, but any other organization as well.
In the past, Powderpuff has traditionally been held in the first week of November; last year’s event took place on Nov. 3, early enough in the month that the organizer’s most likely would not have had to contend with such scheduling conflicts.
“All of us at BRO have spent countless hours already planning events for the senior class, and we will continue to do so,” Toutoulis stated, again emphasizing the positive aspects of the situation. “We are confident that our class can come up with a great alternative for a November event this year, and are also looking forward to the many more events being planned for this Spring.”